Saturday, March 26, 2016

Review: Evil Supply Co. Mr. Ghost Parcel - March

Vampires! Yes! We've finally gotten to the vampire parcel that I've been crossing my fingers for. You know, not that other Evil Supply Co. Mr. Ghost monthly parcels haven't been amazing, but I have such a soft spot in my heart for vampires. I think most Goths do, so hopefully you all will love this kit as much as I do!



The exterior pouch is this red one with little cartoon vampires on it. This one isn't the most exciting (and I'm running out of things to do with these pouches, but I'm sure I'll find something) so for now it's just holding my used up pocket notebooks. Because of course I hoard them. Of course I do.



Here's an overview of the entire parcel:



First up are this month's pocket notebooks which I absolutely adore. People always comment on my pocket notebooks and these ones are so silly I've already gotten people asking where I got them. My boss in particular loves the one that says "Inconspicuous notes about coworkers' blood types gathered for reference // definitely not a menu" which probably says a lot about working in a medical field.



Next up are the envelopes and the notecards. These ones are bright red which are perfect for decorating and adding a Gothy, vampy touch to your mail. The notecards are little scenes of what I imagine an Evil Supply Co. managed town would look like. A lovely little laundromat with poison bottles and a "grossery" store. These weren't as vampire influenced as I expected they would be but they're still plenty charming and add a postcard-like touch to your mail.

























Lastly are the stickers, patch, and art card. The smaller stickers which say "Aether Delivery" would be perfect for adding onto an envelope or package or anything else you're mailing. The other scalloped stickers are gorgeous and I've already stuck one in my planner. The art print is a castle which says "Explore the Netherworld via Bat Airlines" which makes me laugh and is absolutely going with my travel postcards on my wall. I love the colors too, they're definitely my style. Lastly is the patch, which is "Department of Vampire Affairs." I'm building up a collection of patches to add to some jackets and vests and I am absolutely planning on adding it to one of them. I've added a bat patch from Evil Supply Co. to my favorite pair of shorts and it has held up very, very well, I absolutely adore their patches. 



Next month's Mr. Ghost parcel is "Magic Gardens," so if you're a gardener, plant mom, or fairy creature you might want to snap the next one up.

What are your favorite aspects of the Mister Ghost parcels? Pocket notebooks, art prints, patches? I'm dying to know!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Goth Hauls and Unboxing Playlist

I can't be the only one who sometimes binge-watches hauls and unboxing videos? There's something just fun and entertaining and inspiring about seeing people's new purchases and such without it needing to be a full review. Today's post is another playlist of Goth-related Hauls and Unboxings from some of my favorite Goth Youtubers.



 Do you like watching Hauls and Unboxing videos? Do you make them yourself?

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Review: Fashion Victims by Alison Matthews David

I admit, I don't get much leisurely reading done lately. When you have 500 pages to read per week, along with everything else that happens when you're working and in your senior year of college, it's hard to find the time. Still, every once in a while you stumble upon a book that's absolutely worth it to read on top of everything else. The book I'm talking about is called Fashion Victims: The Dangers of Dress Past and Present by Alison Matthews David. The book was sent to me a few months ago by Bloomsbury publications and I'm so thrilled to finally be able to review it for you all.






































The book is about nineteenth and twentieth century fashion and about the various ways that it could be dangerous. Clothing is supposed to shield us from the elements, but when your dress is dyed with arsenic and you're wearing layers of wool on hot summer days, they can be more dangerous than protective.

In the book, the author focuses on dimensions of technology, gender, and social climate to discuss the hows and whys people wore fashion that was slowly killing them.

She also adds in different aspects of the modern world to show us that we haven't exactly escaped either, using the photographs of Kyoichi Tsuzuki and the new google Glass as evidence of the continual presence of dangerous fashion in the modern world.

Consumerism plays a big theme in these, and anyone familiar with the Marxist concept of commodity fetishism will find this eerily familiar. It also brings to mind recent cases of toxic fashion, like those popular phone cases advertised on Instagram that contained acid and could cause serious chemical burns.

The book covers lots of different case studies and is filled with amazing photographs and prints that any Victorian or Edwardian enthusiast will enjoy. I especially love the photographs of the old Victorian dresses from museum collections, which show the different dyes and styles which turned out, in the end, to be pretty deadly. 

The scholarship of the book is also pretty great, as far as I'm concerned, with robust bibliographies where you can go for further research if you so choose. It's certainly given me some things to think about, especially in regards to how some of the negative ideas we have about Victorian fashion actually stem from newspapers of the time mocking women. Of course, a lot of it also comes from the Victorian press's fascination with spreading wild rumor and speculation, but Alison Matthews David does a great job of guiding the reader through different stories and parsing which ones might be true and which ones are almost certainly false.




Overall, I would absolutely recommend this book. Not only is it informative and interesting, but it is wonderfully put together and a joy to have on my bookshelf.

What have you all been reading lately?

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Non-Goth Music I've been Loving Lately

I love Goth music, some of it is incredibly nostalgic for me and it's one of the things that really bonds me to the subculture. I don't remember the last week I went without listening to some song by The Sisters of Mercy or The Cure. Still, I've been opening my mind up more and more as time goes on to music outside of our little subculture and, lo and behold, some of it is absolutely fantastic. So, here is my list of a few non-Gothic songs I've been listening to a lot lately.


What have you all been listening to lately?

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Witchy Home Decor

Now that I am graduating soon and on the hunt for apartments, I've turned my eye back to home decor. Working with a very limited budget means I probably won't implement a lot of these, but it's still fun to look! Personally I keep gravitating towards witchy or occult inspired home decor as something I might like to try, so here are some ways I think I could incorporate that into my home decor.



1. Ouija

If you're not worried about roommates or parents dropping in and asking you why you're worshipping Satan, a decorative ouija board in a side table or propped up on a dresser lends instant occult appeal. I would personally love to see one on a coffee or side table or a vanity which would be extremely gorgeous. These are also fully usable, if you're interesting in contacting the paranormal (or freaking out your friends, whichever works.)

I'm personally enamored by these hand-crafted ones from Enchanted Rumors on Etsy. They come in gold, white, and silver and with lots of different designs that are absolutely better than the versions you can get at most toy stores for children. If the whole ouija board doesn't appeal to you, you can also get just the planchettes or crystal grids or pendulum boards from the same store, all of which are completely usable as well as absolutely gorgeous.


2. Greenery 

What better way to make your home look witchy than by putting greenery everywhere? You could go for either cut flowers in vases or live ones. I might even string up herbs in the sunshine to let them dry and then use them in different recipes. I love this tutorial for a lavender wreath, too.

If you don't have a green thumb yourself, there are lots of low-energy plant options for you. I have a spiderplant that I accidentally left on the window of my dorm room over winter break (so several weeks without water and next to a freezing window) and it was alive when I got back. You can also get certain cacti and succulents that are low maintenance, or these adorable little marimo algae balls which look like something out of Studio Ghibli! Use your imagination.


3. Jars

Every single witch I've ever known, myself included, love jars. Jars have infinite uses and there is something so, so satisfying. You can either fill up your home with different jars (empty or full of herbs and powders) but you can also take influence from most mainstream home organizers. So many decorators I follow (because I'm a nerd) recommend decanting your pantry ingredients from their boxes into clear jars or containers and I thought this was an adorable idea that absolutely fits a witchy home theme. If you don't want to do this for your cereal, just doing it for coffee/tea that you keep out on the counter is a fantastic idea.

I don't have a direct shop to link (the image to the left is from this blog) for jars because you can really pick them up from anywhere. I've found an amazing amount of them at Michaels and other craft stores but you can also use any food jars you have around the house. If you're stuck with a stubborn label on a glass jar, you can mix equal parts coconut oil and baking soda to get it off. If you like you can decorate them to look more purposefully "witchy" with tutorials like this one.


4. Candles

I love candles of all kinds, from the jarred ones at Bath & Bodyworks or Yankee Candle to independently made pretty shapes and unique scents. Different candles can suit different rooms (or intents, as the case may be) but I imagine most Gothy types would prefer black, white, red, or purple candles. These candles are expensive but so, so gorgeous and they're from For Real Surreal Club on Etsy. The black ones have a black cedar scent but you can also get them in lots of other different colors and scents like green peppermint, purple lavender, red geranium, and orange cinnamon. You can display them on dressers or tables, in bird cages, or anywhere else. You can also stock up on different candle holders which can dress up even the plainest of tea lights into something gorgeous and witchy.

Just remember, and I know I say this every time I post about candles on this blog, candle safety and try not to leave candles along or near fabric (or around pets). We don't want our homes burning down.

5. Crystals

There are lots of different ways that you can display crystals in your home, from a scattering of tumbled stones to crystal balls on delicate stands. I'm personally very fond of seeing them by windows which is a great way to make them catch the light and sparkle--although some crystals (such as amethyst) fade in sunlight, so that's something to watch out for.

By way of warning, there is a large marker for faux crystals out there. If you're not that fussed about having the genuine article you can probably find class "crystals" for fairly cheap, but if not look for reputable dealer and maybe google a little bit about the crystal you're trying to buy to make sure the display picture looks correct (i.e. if you're trying to buy a quartz obelisk, make sure it doesn't have any air bubbles.)

So here are my few tips for adding a witchy flair to your home decor! This isn't meant to insult any actual witches out there and I personally am not bothered by non-witches adopting a witchy "style." If you want to see more like this, I also created a new Pinterest board to add witchy home decor to, which you can see here! I might include a follow-up post to this one sometime later because there's so much more than can be said, including creating little curios and using lots of drapey fabric shawls, but for now this seems like a good place to start.

How would you implement witchy decor to your home?

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

White Dress Shopping

School traditions, am I right?


Laurel Parade class of 1922
Every spring my college has a tradition for the graduating seniors called laurel parade which takes place right before graduation. Basically, we all carry a garland made of laurel leaves to the grave of the college's founder and then sing the alma mater. We are joined by classes returning to their campus for their reunions and watched by our family and friends who have come to see us graduate

It's a very cool tradition stretching back to the early 1900's and traditions like this are one of the reasons I love my college so much. It's amazing to be doing archival research (like I am right now) and stumble upon pictures of alumnae doing the same tradition I will be doing in several months, with some very cool variations.

Laurel Parade class of 1970
For example, the class of 1970 opted to carry signs to protest the Vietnam War and then donate the cost of the laurel chain to a charity
program for young women.

I look forward to joining them, in all honestly, when I graduate this spring. I like weird little campus traditions like this

But... I have to wear white.

I'm not opposed to wearing white for special occasions, but as I've never had to buy a white dress before this has become somewhat of a taxing process for me. This isn't helped by the fact that retailers like to slap the "wedding dress" label on white dresses and inflate the price ten times over, but I digress. Here are some of the designs I've been looking at for laurel parade dresses.

Torrid
Torrid

eShakti
Lindy Bop
Modcloth
Unique Vintage
Forever21

Ordinarily for a white outfit I might pick up some black accessories to make it more my style but I won't be doing that for this event. I've been thinking about getting a white flower crown or something though, I think against long black curly hair it'd be pretty cute.

My goal is to buy a dress that I will later be able to dye (maybe to a beautiful blue or red, if not back to black) to incorporate into my regular wardrobe so I'm mostly looking for shapes that I could use at other times. I still have some time to decide since the event is not until May, but starting now feels like the best course of action.

Have you ever put together a gothic white outfit?