this, that, and the other thing (xi)

21 Dresses, a story of the discovery of an an exquisite cache of dresses from atelier “Callot Soeurs”. Though barely remembered now, the fashion house was one of the great names in Belle Époque fashion. h/t OTB

 

Marina Bychkova, of Enchanted Doll, had a 2015 birthday contest, in which the participants are requested to design a tattoo for an Enchanted Doll!

 

Just look at these gorgeous soaps from Eden Gorgós’ Art of Dying Soaps kickstarter campaign. Shut up and take my money! h/t liquidnight

 

Mysterium is a co-op game of “ghosts, murder and hilarious incompetence”. After reading this review I decide that I MUST have this game, it sounds like an amazing good time.

 


“Somethin creepy goin down at da crib called 124,” indeed! I wish Thug Notes had been around when I was in 11th grade AP English.  I have a sense that Beloved was a book I might have loved…had I understood it better.  Thanks for breaking it down, Thug Notes. h/t Jack

 

For fans of creepy dolls, trulyrealro is the most magnificent instagram account you can hope to find.

 


In Episode 7 of Under The Knife, Dr Lindsey Fitzharris discusses how a pot of pee used to be a crucial diagnostic tool in the past. Learn all about piss prophets and medieval urine wheels!

A Poem Composed Entirely of SXSW Panel Titles

Slutist’s Feminist Festival Is Going To Be Amazing

Everything Is Awful and I’m Not Okay: questions to ask before giving up

I still love the Ghostly App for listening to mood-based music

5 Graves That Were Lost, Then Found

Sara Taylor (from The Birthday Massacre) has written a book!

A harpsichord likened to “two skeletons copulating on a tin roof” and other weird descriptions of sound h/t BGF

 

Workout music for monsters

Exercise music for the cold of heart and the sluggish of blood.*
Image: Image: Oltretomba Colore #73

Track List:
Zombie ,Natalia Kills | Shallow Grave, The Birthday Massacre | Phantasmo, Asmodeus | Run For Your Life, The Creepshow | Coffin Rocket, Dead Vampires | Tonight, There Will Be No Survivors, Zombina and the Skeletones | Maneater, The Koffin Kats | Tomb Of The Zombie Queen, Sasha & The Shamrocks | Blind, DANCE WITH THE DEAD

I am having a difficult time putting together a workout playlist because I pretty much can’t stand the artists and lyrical content of most music that’s good for making the blood pump faster. Ideally I want music that *sounds* (beatwise, I guess?) like Ke$ha, or Lady Gaga or Rhianna, but they should be singing about hexes and mummies and changelings and poison gardens and grave robbing.  Why does this not exist? Not everybody wants to hear songs about being all up in the club, or whatever.

SO this is what I have got so far, but it’s not even close to what I want, and I would love suggestions. Also, I’m sure people are going to mention bands like The Cramps, and they’re great, but I mostly try to keep my playlists current to artists within the last 10 years or so.
You’ll notice that I have included a fair amount of psychobilly/horror punk (I guess you could call it), but I am not overly attached to that genre; it’s just that these folks are the only ones singing about the things I want to hear.

Criteria: must be fairly recent (last 10 years or so), must have a driving beat that would make someone want to propel themselves forward, must have a macabre/monstrous/witchy vibe.

Let me know what you’ve got!

The Giveaway winner is….!

…and the winner of my Weirdo giveaway*  is…#28, and that is Rachael! Thanks to everyone for playing along and taking a moment to comment and share something about yourselves. It was wonderful to learn a little about about you and hear all of your fantastic stories! I think we are all in good company.

I am trying to post a video of random dice rolling to choose the winner, but the embed code does not appear to be working. You can see it, (and hear me squeak out the number “28!”) here: https://instagram.com/p/0kjxbdgeLF/

*Please note: the items included in this giveaway are things that I have purchased myself.  This is not being sponsored by any of the brands or artists whose pieces are enclosed.
However! If you would like to send me something to use in a giveaway, I am certainly open to hearing about that.

Stitch Fix, take two {Stitch Fix Review #2}

Last month I received my first shipment, from Stitch Fix, a monthly subscription box that sends you five curated pieces of clothing/accessories picked out just for you by a “personal stylist.” At that time, my sister told me that she tried to read my post about it but she gave up because I was too wordy (which is rich, coming from HER) and she got bored and quit reading and probably started looking at pictures of kittens or monkeys instead.

To review – and I’ll keep it short – you pay a $20 a month subscription fee (which can then be applied to the items you purchase); if you don’t like any of it, you can send it back in a prepaid bag, but then you are out $20.  If you purchase all of it, you get a 25% discount off the total. Whew! I think that’s basically the gist of it!

I received my second shipment today and I am pretty happy about it.  Although, if I were not, I don’t think I’d publish a youtube video about it.  Those ladies get pretty melodramatic about this.  I am not going to link to any of them because I don’t want to come across as tearing other women down, but Jesus – get it together, ladies.  It’s just clothing.  No need to record yourself in front of the world doing a weepy unboxing video.

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I had a different stylist than I did last time (I think that was Emily?) but this one seemed to get me pretty well.  She mentions checking out my pinterest board and found a blouse somewhat similar to something I’d asked for, and she also included a few pieces for a business trip I’d mentioned in my notes/request for this shipment.

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Kristah Ruffle Knit Blazer

The first item was the Kristah Ruffle Knit Blazer, size L ($78). I don’t own many blazers and there’s a reason for that.  I work from home in my pajamas all day.  I do have a business trip coming up, however, during which time I will be representing my company and expected to look like some sort of professional individual and so I thought a blazer might be a good start. This one is a lightweight, somewhat stretchy material, fitted, and has a cute little ruffle in the back.  If I am going to have to wear a blazer, I’d at least like it to be interesting, and this one fits the bill.  Keeper.

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Harriet Geo Print Fit & Flare Dress

I believe the Harriet Geo Print Fit & Flare Dress, size L, ($64) was meant to be paired with the above blazer, so that’s how I tried it on and it was super cute and fit quite well.  On it’s own I am not sure this would be dressy enough for the cocktail reception I am going to be attending as part of the aforementioned business trip, but with the blazer and some pumps, it will probably be perfect.  Otherwise, I would probably wear this with a cardigan and dressy sandals. Keeper.

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Shivan Split Neck Blouse

This Shivan Split Neck Blouse, size L ($48), was the piece I was most excited about.  I know dark florals are trendy right now, but I have loved them since I was 8 years old and adored all things “flowerdy”.  In my notes, I had asked them to send me this blouse, if possible, (I had seen it in someone else’s Stitch Fix review, and that’s how I knew it existed)  and while what they sent isn’t quite it, it’s still beautiful. (Though some – like my late mother and my grandmother –  would accuse it of resembling “Aunt Maude’s Curtains”)  Unfortunately, the fit is so weird – it looks like it would be loose and flowy, but it’s strangely tight around the bust and hips.  I kept it anyway because I am a nutjob and I just like looking at the print. Maybe one day it will fit. Don’t laugh.

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Meryl Tulip Print Sleeveless Blouse

Another sleeveless top! But I really like it. The print, the navy color, the split neck, all of it.  The Meryl Tulip Print Sleeveless Blouse, size L ($54) almost had the same fit issue as the floral print blouse, but not nearly so severe.  Definitely workwithable.  Probably will wear it with black jeans and a black cardigan.  Although…what about a mustard yellow cardigan?  I don’t have one of those, but for some reason the idea appeals to me.  I don’t like most colors, but the ones that appeal to me sound pickled or sour or bitter: mustard, olive, etc.
Anyway, this is a Keeper.

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Emory Swallow Bird Charm Necklace

Now I was fairly certain that when I filled out my profile I specifically opted out of accessories.  I always carry the same bag, I am not a lady who constantly switches out purses.  If I want a scarf, I will knit one.  And as far as jewelry goes, to quote an absolutely odious fictional character, “my tastes are very singular”.  I prefer unusual pieces made by independent artists who have a certain vision and aesthetic.  I will never find these sorts of things through a service like Stitch Fix.  No offense, Stitch Fix.  However, when I checked, I apparently did not opt out of the accessories, and they sent me this Emory Swallow Bird Charm Necklace ($28).  Which, all things considered, it’s not too hideous, unless you are the sort who cares about trending motifs and would say something like, “Oh, well, swallows are so 2006″. Not that that crossed my mind or anything.  I am considering this a Keeper because quite honestly, it’s something I can wear to a family dinner or work function that will dress an outfit up, but no one’s going to ask me an questions about it.  (“Is that satanic?  Are you a witch? ARE THOSE REAL TEETH?”) Also, if I keep everything, I’ll get a 25% discount on the total and it’s basically free anyway.

So, I am keeping everything.  I had a $25 credit because someone used my referral link (thank you!) and with the 25% discount for purchasing all five pieces, my total came to $184. That’s probably kind of expensive, but everything here feels high quality, and I didn’t have to leave the house or spend time humiliating myself in a dressing room, so that’s kind of worth it to me.  You mileage may vary in that regard.

Also, a few tips, if you decide to sign up!

One – You can change the frequency on your deliveries.  For example, I just changed mine to every two weeks because I am hoping to amass a few more pieces before my business trip in April. After that I will probably change it to once a month, or maybe once every other month.

Two – The more specific you are in your notes to your stylist and your feedback on the items you receive, the better.  I have stressed over and over that I am dipping my toe into colors and so far I have not seen one brightly colored item.  This time around I mentioned that although I love dresses and skirts, I’d like them knee length because my bum is so sizeable that it makes everything shorter in the back.  I also mentioned I am on the hunt for a mustard yellow cardigan! Tune in next time to see how they deliver on my weird requests.

Three – If you’ve just signed up and are expecting your first delivery and you don’t want to be totally surprised by the contents of your box, here is what you do.  You’ll get an email noting that your Fix has shipped. They don’t include a list of the items, HOWEVER, if you can locate within the email the link to the checkout survey, it will take you to a list of the things that were shipped -”Kristah Ruffle Knit Blazer”, for example.  If you do a quick internet search for that, you will no doubt find some imagery and you’ll get an idea of what’s coming to you.

As with my last review, I feel a little bit silly writing about this sort of thing. But, I will tell you why I am bothering. In searching around I see the rest of the ladies who use Stitch Fix are – for the most part – either mommy bloggers, fitness bloggers, or wifey bloggers… I don’t know what to call that last category.  They have blogs about being engaged or being married and making sandwiches for their “hubby” and that sort of thing.  I am not a mommy or a wifey or a runner/zumba instructor/mountain climber.  I’m a single, childness lady with a terribly dark sense of humor, 3 shelves full of ghost stories and a head filled with 38 years worth of weirdness. And the only time you will see me running is  ….HAHAHA you will never see me running.

My point is, when I went looking for reviews, there was no one at all like me talking about this and sharing their experiences.  Or, if there was, they weren’t coming up in the first 10 pages of a Google search.  So this is written for my fellow weirdies who hate shopping but like nice clothing every once in a while. So there!

How to wear…dramatic jewelry

Allow me to reiterate: I think “how to wear” columns are dumb.

HA! I said it. It’s true. They are dumb.  But, as I confessed to my sister the other day: 80% of my daily broodings revolve around how I think I could have done something better than someone else did it (she promised to diagnose me at a later date)… and so I sometimes have to jump into the fray of dumbness just so I can do a better dumb.

Today we have…how to wear DRAMATIC JEWELRY*! And by dramatic, I mostly mean ridiculous. Who else is going to show you how to style a resin lobster necklace, right? Isn’t that why you came here today?

*Please note – some of these selections are more “art” than “wearable accessories” as they are one of a kind, gallery pieces
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Tatty Devine Giant Lobster necklace at 6000AD

 

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Märta Mattsson beetle necklace

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 Phases of the moon necklace at Army of Rokosz

lunar

Claw necklace by Sian Edwards

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Fretwork Sword Necklace by Eina Ahluwalia at Boticca

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Elaine Ho necklace
 (this may be sold out)

knife

 

Spacecrab choker by OS Accessories

crab

Philippe Audibert Riviera Necklace

baubles

 

 

Don’t you recognize your own daughter?

A new playlist inspired by Daniel Mills’ Revenants.

Tracklist:

Church, Dead Soldiers | Sick Today, Jim Strange with The Proud and The Damned | The Dark Pines, Heathen Apostles | Bridge Of Branches, O’Death and Friends | Cold Wind Suddenly, The Robber Barons | Ghosts In The River, by Jep and Dep | Battered Bones, Big John Bates | Raise It To The Ground, Jb Nelson | The Fear In Your Brain, Lasse Krog Andersen | Lost, Weak And Alone, Saint Christopher | Lead Me Home, Jamie N Commons | Parlour Lights, The Whiskey Charmers | The Devil Is In My Bones, Sasha Boole | Black Dress, O’Death

Weirdo – a repost & a giveaway

(A few years back, a dear friend of mine and I started a little blog to document our fascinations and obsessions. It was fun while it lasted and then we grew busy with other things and let it go.  Which is ok! I think we were at a point in our lives at that time when we really needed that sort of companionable, cooperative outlet, and then our situations changed a bit and maybe we just didn’t need it anymore.  Or we got lazy, heh! Either way, she remains one of the dearest people in the world to me! This missive, below, is a repost from that time, but I wanted to hang on to it and move it to my current blog, for a new audience,and because, well, I believe it’s always relevant.)

Not sure where this image is from, but you can find it and more neat stuff at http://simondrax.com/

The night before Easter Sunday of my 4th year I was tucked into bed by my mother. Looking forward to a spring morning full of frilly Easter dresses, the pink & purple pastels of plastic eggs and straw baskets brimming with candies and coins, I contentedly pulled the covers up to my chin and perhaps lightly dozed at that point – but I don’t remember it quite that way.  As I recall not moments after the light was extinguished, I heard a noise from outside; I peeped above the quilted coverlet and received a terrible fright  - a demonic face, not inches from my own, leering at me from outside the darkened glass windowpane next to my bed!  Long ears with dark, matted fur… bent and flopping in a broken sort of way, black eyes glittering with menace and gigantic teeth, gnashing with dreadful intent – this monstrous mockery of the my beloved seasonal mascot was right outside my window!  Even more distressing was the fact that my bedroom was located on the second floor!

I woke the entire household with my screams.

I honestly don’t remember what happened after that, but I am certain it was that night that my fascination with the bizarre, the terrible and the inexplicable was born.

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I suppose that story does seem rather silly, but that along with a childhood rife with weirdness, I am not sure I could have turned out any other way.  Hm, let’s review:

  • My mother was an astrologer who often held meditation circles in our home (hint: these are populated by weirdos); she also became obsessed with the ouija board when I was very young…I remember spending what felt like an eternity every evening balancing the planchette with my tiny fingers while she, on her side of the board, spent hours on the phone!  I don’t think she was talking to anyone from “the other side”, which makes it all the more infuriating.
  •  Yearly visits to my biological father’s childhood home , which held promise of sleeping in haunted bedrooms with stacks of horror comics to fuel the imagination.  I’ll forever be fascinated and terrified of the beach at night due to a particular tale, which I’ve never been able to find again. However, I have since been in contact with the Uncle whose room housed the comics and we have vowed to get to the bottom of the mystery. What we do know: it was Eerie or Creepy and probably between the years 1965-1967. I will report back with my findings!
  • My mother briefly dated a man who gave me a copy of Manly P. Hall’s The Secret Teaching of All Ages and a copy of the Thoth tarot deck for my 11th birthday.  Aside from Weird Al Yankovic, Manly P. Hall was one of my first secret crushes!  (I am still madly in love with Weird Al.)  It is also because of that man that I introduced HP Lovecraft as my favourite author on the first day of 6th grade, when other girls were reading about Jessica and Elizabeth in Sweet Valley High.
  • My stepfather was a member of a local chapter of the OTO as well as an author and “magician” in his own right.  I later went to work for him in his rare, occult book business and even designed his website for him.

Well, it feels good to get all of that off my chest!  What about you folks? What seminal moment from your childhood contributed to the weirdo that you are today?

I would love to hear from you! Please leave a comment and you will automatically be entered into a giveaway for a small package o’weirdness.  Contents are currently being deliberated upon, but will include at least the items pictured below.
A random winner will be chosen in one weeks time!

 

this, that and the other thing (x)

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Stunning Transylvanian landscapes by photographer Alex Robciuk (h/t Yvan)

 

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A gorgeous SXSW poster for Ted Geoghegan’s We Are Still Here, designed by Erik Buckham and Jesse Vital.  Take a peek at the teaser trailer over at Broke Horror Fan.

 

From Morbid Anatomy Presents: The Phantasmagoria shows of the early 1800s were our ancestor’s equivalent of the modern horror film or spook show. Magic Lantern historian Mervyn Heard takes us through brief history of the Phantasmagories and our cultural need to be terrified through ghosts, demons, skeletons and more… (h/t Ben)

 

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Paintings of Witches Sabbats That Resemble Parties I Have Attended (h/t Carisa)

 

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Frizzled hair, tiny ruffles, drooping roses, yes! Alexander McQueen Fall 2015 Runway is an all around win for me.

 

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Seven Stories with Nona Limmen over at CVLT Nation; a really lovely peek into the head of one of my favorite photographers

 

Spooky new sounds from Mater Suspiria Vision

For people “who think entirely too deeply about the absurd things they watch”:Splatstick and the Specters of the Past - insight from the inimitable Tenebrous Kate on Tommy Wirkola’s Nazi Zombies and Killer Witches.

The Last Supper: Artist Paints The Final Meals Of Death Row Inmates Onto Porcelain Plates

Can the world’s weirdest library survive? (h/t Dustin)

Werner Twertzog on twitter

Edison’s ‘Lost’ Idea: A Device to Hear to the Dead (h/t Drax)

The 20 Greatest Original Horror Scores (h/t Drax)

Death Cafe Orlando made it into the news!

For your ears


Lurking Fear by Joseph Curwen -Hauntological folk horror shrouded in wraithlike drones; ritualistic heartbeats in the darkness.

 


Black and Bronze by Erik K. Skodvin -
Foggy washes and cinematic boneyard grooves

 


Hanna Rosa – Buried Alive
Velvety vocals, dreamy instrumentals, a delicate darkness

 


Dorothy – After Midnight
Soulful, gritty, raw, and super catchy.

 


Eternal Tapestry  - Enchanter’s Nightshare
Sprawling, earthy psychedelia; a hazy brain massage.

 


Joanne Robertson-Black Moon Days
Introspective, sparse, illusory. The poetry of sugar in wounds.

 


KARYN CRISIS’ GOSPEL OF THE WITCHES – The Alchemist
Melodic, transformative metal from Karyn Crisis.

Meeting the unknown with an open mind. And cats.

I am generally not a do-er of Things.

I have a life-long habit of shying away from new experiences, and I suspect, from many conversations I have had with many people, I am not alone. We don’t want to be seen in front of others doing something new incorrectly; we don’t want to screw up; we don’t want to look like fools. We don’t want to not know how to act in a new environment, in front of new people. We don’t want to offend, or upset or amuse someone with our ignorance and awkwardness. I don’t know about you, but just thinking about those uncharted situations gets me jittery and freaked out.

And it’s not just new experiences, I mean sometimes I get a little bit anxious about something as commonplace as say, going out for groceries…so I think it might just be experiences, period. Every time I leave my house, my safe spot, my comfort zone, there is an element of the unknown mixed in with it – what’s traffic going to be like?  how many left turns must I take ? what if the parking lot is full?  what if I run into someone I know? what if I spend too much on groceries? what if they don’t have an item I desperately need? what if I get into an accident?  and can’t find my insurance card?  or my registration?  You know, sometimes it’s just easier to stay home and eat stale crackers than deal with the vagaries of Regular Human Stuff.

For all that, though, I do manage to get by.  I grocery shop, I visit the library, I make it to hair appointments and doctor’s appointments.  These are the things one has to do as a human in today’s world, these are the things regular, normal people do. And I try, for the most part, to pass as “normal”.

I do realize, though, that’s really no way to live.  Sequestering one’s self in one’s office all day, solely communicating with people from the relative safety of an email or an instant message, and then limiting interaction with the world beyond your front door as much as you can possibly get away with – you miss out on so many rich experiences, hiding where you feel safe. And you know, as I’ve gotten older, I think what starts to scare me more than “Something New” is “Something New That Could Have Been Great and I totally missed out on it because I was too frightened or self-conscious to give it a try”.

Now, you are probably not going to see me going out for ballroom dancing anytime soon, or taking flying lessons or attending a stand up comic show (that’s how I know when I’ve made great strides, when I am able to comfortably listen to a live comedian, which is the most awkward and embarrassing thing ever.) but I have been Doing Things lately.

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This past Friday night I went along with my sister and some friends to see The Acrocats at the Venue in Orlando.  Now, you might be puzzled as to my hesitation with regard to such an evening “It’s cats!  Cats doing things!” you might say. “Who wouldn’t be excited about that?”  Well, hi – do you know me?  Have you been listening?  What if they miss their cues?  What if they poop on the stage?  What if they get loose in the audience? So many things could go wrong!  And I would be in the audience to witness it! Auuugh.  I didn’t think I could possibly handle it.

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As it turns out, it was pretty fantastic for those very reasons.  They’re cats, for God’s sake.  They’re going to do whatever they want to do, and that’s actually what made the show so much fun.  It was a ridiculous spectacle, and if I am being honest -which I am because to do otherwise would defeat the purpose of having typed all of this – I loved every minute of it.  I laughed and smiled until my cheeks felt like they might burst and I was so very grateful to the people who encouraged me to see it.

We saw cats dinging cowbells and pushing cars and walking across tightropes and a chicken playing a cymbal and an enormously fat groundhog doing …something (but I couldn’t tell what because people’s heads were in the way). The ringmaster/trainer was such a lovely, sweet lady and all throughout the show she explained a bit about her training techniques and gave us background on the individual cats (which were all strays she had taken in), so any fears about ill-treatment of animals were put to rest. It was all absolutely absurd and silly and such a weird and wonderful way to spend a Friday night.  If these guys travel to your area, I highly recommend purchasing a ticket.

So basically everyone was right and I did enjoy myself immensely and sometimes gentle encouragement is a good thing for people like me, like us, people who are scared of doing things.  It doesn’t have to be like that! We don’t have to be sad and lonely in our  little hidey-holes and missing out on all of the good, interesting stuff. Sometimes we can have a good time watching crazy cats with our friends and it isn’t the least bit scary, not at all.

(Wonderful photos courtesy BGF – mine were all pretty blurry and terrible.)

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