Archive of ‘unquiet things’ category

Madison Montgomery & Behold Chablis

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These two fabulous creatures are the only thing that is making American Horror Story watchable for me this season. Also: Madison Montgomery in ugly black leather shorts, nonchalantly smoking a cigarette whilst examining a skull is A LOOK and I am here for it.

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AHS7 AHS5 AHS6

 

Help Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab Fight “Period Poverty”

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It would indeed be a difficult matter to find anything which is productive of more marvellous effects than the menstrual discharge. On the approach of a woman in this state, must will become sour, seeds which are touched by her become sterile, grafts wither away, garden plants are parched up, and the fruit will fall from the tree beneath which she sits. Her very look, even, will dim the brightness of mirrors, blunt the edge of steel, and take away the polish from ivory. A swarm of bees, if looked upon by her, will die immediately; brass and iron will instantly become rusty, and emit an offensive odour; while dogs which may have tasted of the matter so discharged are seized with madness, and their bite is venomous and incurable.
-Pliny the Elder

“The copper tang of blood musk, swept by a cloud of dying bees & red poppies of madness, glammed up for fall with a swirl of cozy gourd-enhancing spices.” 🎃

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If you’re in the Los Angeles area, on Saturday October 20, stop by Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab at 12120 Sherman Way in North Hollywood, CA 91605 from 4-7PM and help fight “period poverty”. For every tampon/pad donation of $20 value dropped off at the event, you’ll receive one free 5ml bottle of the the above, exclusive fragrance – a seasonal variation on the bloodiest winner of all pumpkin spice scents, Pumpkin Spice Sanguinem Menstruum.

Not local? You can still help the do-gooders at The Lab and be entered for the opportunity to win the limited edition scent, by mailing in donation of a disposable menstrual product donation of $20 or more into the Lab (c/o Beth, at the address listed above). More details on the Haute Macabre blog!

I myself just donated $60 worth of tampons through Amazon, mailed straight to The Lab—it was super easy!

Favorite Tarot Decks

Tarot-Favorites-Sarahs-picks

At Haute Macabre today, Sam and I share some of our most useful and beautiful tarot decks. We’ve also got the scoop from a handful of sibyls and seers–luminaries and visionaries whose guidance we trust implicitly– Pam Grossman, Elizabeth Barrial of Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab, Sarah Faith Gottesdiener, and Mystic Medusa! Do you have a favorite tarot deck?

HM staff favorites the-hierophant-card by Katie Skelly
HM staff favorites forthcoming The Darkwood Tarot

…and because rules are silly, I also included two decks which I do not yet own, or which technically may not yet exist, but which I plan to get my hands on as soon as I can, and which I know I am going to love! Katie Skelly’s Bad Girl Tarot and The Dark Wood tarot, illustrated by Abigail Larson 🖤

Guest Post: A Little Bit of Childhood Magick

Getting the party started!Sometime last month I was scrolling through the instagrams, and I paused, thoroughly enchanted by some photos that my friend Megan had just shared. To give a little backstory, Megan and I met at Orlando’s inaugural Death Cafe, which I was hosting at the time, and, having several interests in common of the morbid and macabre variety, we became fast friends. As a matter of fact, she learned of that Death Cafe event entirely due to the fact that I had posted about it beforehand on instagram…. which, at the time, I thought was maybe a frivolous way to advertise for an event, but, hey, it worked! Megan is a lovely friend and I always looking forward to spending time with her and talking perfumes and jewelry, and Hannibal, and spooky stuff whenever the opportunity presents itself.

At any rate, several weeks back, Megan and her family had begun their annual Halloween decorating party, and, as I believe this was probably in back in August’s sweltering dog days, that makes these seasonal preparations even more delightful (as I’m sure all my rabid weenie weirdo friends would agree!) I suppose I just really adored that idea that she has made a yearly tradition of bringing out all the Halloween-themed goodies and turning the festooning of their home into into a celebration with her children to herald in their favorite season and its high holiday. It reminded me a bit of how I felt when September rolled around when I was a little girl in Ohio. Though I don’t have many memories of my early life there, I definitely recall the eerie cardboard skeleton being hauled out of storage, and once it was affixed to the basement door with lots of scotch tape, I knew magic was soon to be afoot!.

I asked Megan if she would mind sharing a few words with us here at Unquiet Things about the spoopy childhood magics conjured forth via her pre-Halloween festivities, and she happily obliged. Read on for more, and thank you, Megan!

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Every year at the end of August, (after weeks of anticipation -i.e. pestering- from my little monsters) we pull down the orange & black storage containers from the dusty attic and commence what I have not-so-creatively titled “The Annual Halloween Decorating Party.” It really isn’t anything too elaborate: I bake cookies, light a Fall-scented candle (go ahead, call me a basic witch!), queue up the Beetlejuice soundtrack, and we all dance around decorating our home with ghosts (both literally & figuratively) of Halloween’s past. The kid’s faces fill with wonder and excitement as they unearth the next decoration from the box, as if discovering treasure for the first time (even though it’s just the same ol’ stuff), or greeting an old friend they haven’t seen in a year. Elaborate or not, a wonderful time is had by all.

Our favorite find this year!
This has always been a sort of tradition for me at various stages of my life, drawing from my early childhood experiences centering around the holiday. In those days (you know, the days of yore – AKA the 80’s) I’d watch my mom pull out the terracotta jack-o-lantern

from some seemingly secret cupboard containing all-the-cool-things, and carefully place it in the center of the dining room table. Then we’d hang up the old & worn (now vintage!) paper witch & skeleton & pumpkin and that’s when I knew: HALLOWEEN IS COMING! The very sight of these things would send spooktacular shivers down my spine. Oh, the magick of the season!

Making sure the gravestones are just right.

Someone insisted on changing into costume!
Now, decades later, I create these moments with my children in hopes of passing the same magickal feelings on to them. They are intangible but so very real, much like memories themselves. I hope that they will look back on these times with great fondness. Maybe they will continue the tradition someday, excitedly unpacking decoration after decoration from an orange or black box and invoking the magick of their past. Or maybe they will share it with their own little monsters, should they choose to have them.

Haunting the Halls

There are many opportunities throughout the Fall to practice a bit of childhood magick. I love to pick pumpkins at the pumpkin patch, get lost in a corn maze, and of course we are in full-on celebration mode come Halloween night. But for me, it all begins with the decorations. Just like it did all those years ago with one silly little terracotta jack-o-lantern and some worn out paper.

What about you? What sort of special Halloween magick lives on from your childhood? I’d love to hear about it!

Wishing you many blessings this most magickal of seasons!
Megan
IG @beneaththethorn
beneaththethorn.com

The Art Of Mahyar Kalantari

Delpozo Fall 2015 Ready-to-Wear

Delpozo Fall 2015 Ready-to-Wear

I haven’t been able to find much information on Mahyar Kalantari, a fashion and beauty illustrator on Behance, whose digital stylized couture illustrations I fell in love with just last week. (Although I have found him on deviantart, tumblr, and instagram.) So while I’m digging up the deets, please to enjoy some of his fabulous art, below!

Gareth Pugh Spring 2016

Gareth Pugh Spring 2016

Givenchy Spring 2016 Ready-to-Wear

Givenchy Spring 2016 Ready-to-Wear

Guinevere Van Seenus

Guinevere Van Seenus

Iris van Herpen

Iris van Herpen

Tom Ford Fall 2014 With Maison Martin Margiela Spring 2014 Couture Mask

Tom Ford Fall 2014 With Maison Martin Margiela Spring 2014 Couture Mask

Valentino Fall Winter1617

Valentino Fall Winter1617

An Inarticulate Rant: I Hate Scentbird

fucking scentbird

This is probably one of those things that people have YouTube channels for, to air their petty gripes and grievances aloud, for an audience (and perhaps future sponsors). I imagine on some level, that must be cathartic, to give voice to your criticisms and objections. I also imagine sometimes that people are better speakers than writers, and so recording their complaints and contentions is the option they’d prefer. (Although, I gotta tell you, from watching some of these videos,  some of these individuals sound as dumb as a bag of hammers, so maybe they were not blessed with gifts of either the oratory or compositional kind.)

Myself, I prefer to write when I’ve got a problem. And the problem I have right now, it’s perfectly petty, I know, I KNOW, but dammit, I’m mad, and I feel that I have to share anyway– even if it makes me sound bitter and hateful: I fucking hate scentbird.

I’m not going to link to them, but you may have heard of them: scentbird is a subscription based designer perfume program that allows you to try a 30-day supply of perfume for something like $14.95 a month. There are about 450 different scents to choose from “top designers” such as Gucci, Tom Ford, and Dolce & Gabbana, (which, if you ask me, sounds a lot like the crappy scents that are included in your Sephora Play box and are really nothing to get excited about.) A cursory peek at the brands they stock tells me that they may have something from Amouage or Etat Libre d’Orange, but other than that, they offer nothing extraordinary, rare, or niche. Which, okay, that’s fine. I’m a bit of a snob when it comes to perfume and fragrance, and I don’t think that scentbird is pretending to offer that kind of service, or cater to those tastes, so I can’t get too mad about that. Conversely, I can’t muster any excitement for it, either.

What really burns my muffins, though, are scentbird’s advertisements, which I am bombarded with every time I watch a youtube video lately. In each and every single one of these ads, the person touting the service looks like a social media beauty “influencer”, and I know that you know exactly what I am talking about. Not just “pretty”, but beautiful in an instantly recognizable, very contemporary sort of way– from their Instagrammable caterpillar eyebrows to the radioactive luminescence of the highlighter on their cheeks, from their impossibly long fringe of false lashes, to their vacuum-device puffed pout. These people and their perfect faces and unattainable levels of beauty have been chosen to represent a perfume service, and I find that absolutely insufferable. Why? Because I believe that the wonderful thing about fragrance it that it makes you feel beautiful in ways that has NOTHING WHATSOEVER to do with your appearance.

“What is it, exactly, that you are saying, Sarah?” you might be asking. That perfume is the domain of the unsightly, the unattractive, and the straight-up ugly?

YES GODDAMMIT THAT IS WHAT I AM SAYING. CAN’T YOU JUST LET US HAVE THIS ONE THING?

I can’t make my eyeliner match, and it never looks good on my beady eyes anyhow; I’ve got sun spots and broken capillaries that foundation and concealers can never seem to cover; lipstick only draws attention to my snaggletoothed, crooked smile; my hair frizzes and frays in every direction, and every single part of me jiggles when I move…but do you know that when I smell beautiful, none of that bothers me? For while a scent lingers, I can slip through the world in a veil of impeccable elegance or a melancholy cloud of romantic longing; fragrance moves me to beauty in places that powder and glosses can never hope to reach. An extraordinary scent makes me feel that I’ve achieved a beauty far beyond what you can capture on camera in a well-lit studio with an arsenal of face paint and filters at your disposal.

And I guess what I am saying is that I would sure like to see an ad campaign for a thing I that I love very much, like fragrance for example, portrayed by people who also have an intense passion for it…not just by people who look good talking about it.

Also that dumb-ass white lady in the featured photo is a screen shot from a scentbird ad wherein she is actually rapping about the service. I’m not even making that up. What the hell.

And yes, the screen shot is an ad preceding a video about someone eating cheesy noodles. I told you, I’m jiggly.

 

Nightmares On Vinyl

Cadabra Records Hound of the Baskervilles

Spoken word horror on vinyl? Yes please! Take a peek at my interview with Cadabra Records’ Jonathan Dennison over at Haute Macabre this week and hasten your eerie October feels with a fearsome tale from their extraordinary catalog of offerings.

See below my ever-expanding collection of Cadabra releases! We had the Dracula album playing (voiced by Tony Todd), as we passed out candy to adorable trick-or-treaters last year. I daresay their parents were not impressed with us.

Cadabra collection

Currently {August 2018}

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August arrives, as it always does, thrumming with the ceaseless drone of cicadas, the looming threat of hurricanes, and a recurring, tender ache in my heart. A strange, soft, sadness for something that never was, wistfulness for certain places best left to exist in memories, a nostalgic sentiment for a timeline in which I, myself, should never have existed.

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These photos were taken almost seven years ago, as I was packing up bits and scraps of a life I’d never fully settled into, preparing a return to a place I never believed I would call home again. Nostalgia is a funny thing, strange and sad, wily and dangerous. Even as I was snapping these photos, I was already seeing the place, and my memories of it, through rose-colored lenses. But that rosiness was never a true thing. Good times did not happen here. I look at this fence today, and recall the beauty of the river beyond, and it’s so easy to think, “how lovely is the lazy current, the fiery glow of August’s setting sun”, and it occurs to me, stark and sudden, how often I despaired, and imagined throwing myself in that very same river. These are terrible, melancholy thoughts, and I have learned throughout the years that nostalgia is no true friend of mine.

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Mathyld (whose loveliness and talents I have recently written about, here at Unquiet Things) fashioned this Lionhearted talisman for me, back in 2011, when I knew I must make a decision that would change –everything– for me. Containing bits of labradorite, rutilated quartz, turquoise, and blue chalcedony, I clutched it for luck, I cradled it for protection, and I channeled all the confidence and strength that I could glean from its tiny, glimmering contents. It took no small amount of bravery and fortitude to walk away from that life, and I needed every bit I could get my hands on.

In the years that have passed, in the place that I am, I have found more love and wonder and satisfaction than I ever dreamed I’d have the courage to grasp. It’s funny to think that this situation, too, may change. That sooner or later the August shrieks of ancient insects will be too distant for my ears to discern, that I may trade the stunning semi-tropical savagery of annual hurricanes, for…well, whatever comes next. What is next? Where is next?  I’ve got some thoughts, but we’re not quite there yet.

cannisters saws

Meanwhile, I’m not going anywhere immediately, so that means we’ve got time to enjoy some rusty old treasures in the form of my late grandmother’s ceramic kitchen canisters, which we finally dusted off and filled with, well, you can clearly read on the canisters themselves what’s meant to fill them. And who am I to defy the word of Canister?

Also recently installed is my late grandfather’s workbench in our garage! Which I will probably never use, though it is wonderfully comforting to know it is nearby. But why do we have so many saws? Yikes. Better not ask too many questions, I reckon.

nobody pool

Typically I like to spend at least one weekend every summer at my sister’s house, during which I do nothing but luxuriate in her swimming pool from the first light of dawn (which is sometimes difficult to gauge through her black out curtains) until midnight –and quite frequently, beyond. In times of yore I drank margaritas all day to celebrate my one day of #mermaidlife hedonism, but as I’ve gotten older, the cocktails have become more and watered down until we’ve simply decided that our middle-aged bods and their glitchy digestive tracts prefer just plain water and ice as accompaniment to our aquatic interlude.

Schedules throughout this June and July were too crazed for our pool date, but I’d be damned if I let the summer go by without it! Thankfully it finally happened this past weekend, although, sadly, the weekend was mostly rainy. I did get in some night swimming, and got to swan about it my Nobody dress, which is probably not intended as a bathing suit cover-up, but eh, whatever. You can’t see it underneath, but my swimsuit is this one, in black, from Modcloth; I’ve had it about four years now and it’s held up pretty well–but considering I only wear it once every 365 days, it had better!

Dragula

Last month my BGF came to visit for a weekend, during which time we lazed about in our pajamas, ate a massive amount of junk food, and watched season two of Dragula in its entirety. Oh my lord, the insane alien baby realness in episode four! It was the perfect stay-in-and-make-poor-decisions weekend, and, as a bonus, she introduced me to Claws, which after having watched Sons of Anarchy, Peaky Blinders, and at least one season of Vikings, was exactly what I wanted. I’m so tired of seeing these shows about men and their macho gangs, doing all sorts of terrible, testosterone-fueled shit to keep their families together–I wanted to see a gang of strong females doing all kinds of terrible shit! I didn’t expect that it would come in the form of feisty co-workers at a nail salon, but that’s what makes it so unexpected and great. I believe that Claws may be what I was hoping for…and the bonus is that the show’s setting is Manatee County, and it contains all of the dumb craziness that could only take place in Florida. (I realize it’s actually filmed in New Orleans, though.)

I haven’t been keeping track of the visual media I’ve been consuming as thoroughly as I have in recent years, but here’s a quick rundown of some other things I have seen over the last month. If I were doing one-word reviews, I’d give them all a yes, even the bad ones (you can tell by the list which one that might be) because I think sometimes there are just things you kind of have to see. Atomic Blonde and Inside Out were my standout favorites, for what it’s worth. And The Great Mouse Detective, though a little silly, was worth it, just to hear Vincent Price as a villainous singing rat.

-The Disaster Artist
-The Room
-This Is The End
-Sharp Objects
-Atomic Blonde
-Antman and the Wasp
-The Great Mouse Detective
-Inside Out
-The Incredibles
-Coco

It’s just that time of year, I guess. Summer, for myriad reasons–some which return yearly, and others always in flux- always just gets me to feeling some kind of way. I’m muddling through, though.  We’ll get there. Where “there” is no longer summer, I guess.

Non Fiction For The Senses

Royal Art Of Poison

Last week in a brief discussion spurred by a book about the bizarre digestive by-product from whales used as a fixative in fine fragrances, Tanya and I came to the enthusiastic conclusion that we needed an outlet wherein we could discuss this weird little gem and other such titles.

Out of this discussion, a new book club was born! Non Fiction For The Senses is “a virtual book club to indulge in non-fiction books about all things relating to the senses, mostly focusing on the history, lore and science around them, as well as books celebrating obsessions with anything like perfumes, potions, intriguing sounds, textiles and textures, and delicious foods. (No cookbooks, though, unless almost exclusively narrative/historical, with barely any recipes.)”

Since we both had our eyes on The Royal Art of Poison: Filthy Palaces, Fatal Cosmetics, Deadly Medicine, and Murder Most Foul, we decided that would be the one to kick things off, and we’ll most likely get discussions underway in the next few weeks. Perhaps around the beginning of August, to give everyone time to procure for themselves a copy of the book.

Do you have an infectious curiosity concerning precious things, fancy obsessions and sensual fascinations? If so, peek in on our Goodreads group and request an invite–we’d love to read some fancy books with you!

Support And Honor Women: Fuck Cancer Benefit Auction Today!

fuck cancer auction

Women are the gateway:
Guardians of the heart,
Keepers of the hearth,
Weavers of the womb,
Sisters of the moon,
Healers of the bones,
Holders of the tomes.
Women are the world.

When I learned that my creative friends were coming together today with a benefit auction to support artist Heather Jean Skawold’s (@Callunajean on instagram, and of DellamorteCo.) mother in her fight against Stage 4 Ovarian Cancer, I thought that the very least I could do was give it a signal boost over here at Unquiet Things. I lost my own mother to cancer back in 2013 and know the feelings of frustration and helplessness that families, friends, and loved ones experience when someone beloved to them goes through such an ordeal. Anything you can do, even the smallest things, are helpful in keeping those feelings of hopelessness at bay…and if you are supporting a worthwhile cause, well naturally, that’s even better.

Elle of Chase & Scout jewelry (featured previously at Unquiet Things) shared the following with me about this wonderful endeavor…

“@Callunajean has been sharing posts about her mother who had just been diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian cancer, including sharing posts of shaving off her own hair in support. For those that don’t know @callunajean, she is the art director for @dellamorteco and the artist and designer behind @saintcalluna. When Calluna posted about her mother’s diagnosis, another friend had just wrapped up a benefit auction on her IG and I was in the process of putting together a milestone giveaway – I realized I’d much rather do something with true impact. I asked Calluna if she’d be comfortable with it, and we decided to try it out. Calluna and I reached out to our own friends in the community whose artwork resonated with us and I think we have put together a fantastic package.”

Included in the auction are:

+ From the heart, Calluna hand applied silver leaf to a @dellamorteco anatomical heart vase, it’s one of a kind and truly spectacular

+ Signed silkscreen prints of powerful and magical women from @poisonappleprintshop

+An absolutely gorgeous velvet dress collar by @inthechalkgarden

+Pin and a pair of those-to-die for snake-handled scissors from @thecreepingmuseum

+An amethyst and sterling adjustable snake ring from @chaseandscoutjewelry

Starting now, just place a bid in comments of this instagram post (I’ve already bid, come say hi!) and they will be accepting bids through Saturday night. The highest bidder will be contacted with an invoice, and once paid items will ship via fedex ground with signature. The donation will be made to Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Alliance.

Donate to a worthy cause and bid to win a collection of art you’ll love for life!

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