The Secret Garden


I found a lovely violet-hued gin this afternoon and would love to make something nice with it, but I’m rather a dud of a mixologist. I’m tempted to concoct a potion with elderflower liqueur and crême de violette and lavender bitters just so I can call it “The Secret Garden”, but something tells me that I am trying to mix in too many things and the end result might not be  verypleasant. Any ideas for me?

Rebecca Reeves’ Garden Of Grief At The Creeping Museum


Tomorrow, Friday May 25th 2018, our friends at The Creeping Museum present Garden Of Grief, a solo installation by artist Rebecca Reeves, in their Little Free Library Gallery in Portland.

We’re big fans of the work The Creeping Museum does, both their supporting of artists and the arts, as well as their giving back to the community through their efforts. Read more about past Creeping Museum exhibits and shows here, here, and, here.

Garden of Grief

The artist herself will be in attendance at the Garden of Grief installation, to talk about her work–which focuses on the ongoing themes of loss and mourning, intertwined with the compulsion to protect the relics left behind by the dead. Additionally,  Megan Devine, author of It’s OK That You’re Not OK: Meeting Grief and Loss in a Culture that Doesn’t Understand and Coleman Stevenson, creator of the Dark Exact Tarot and author of Breakfast: 43 Poems, will be attending the event for a special “Porch Salon” conversation about grief as it relates to the themes of Rebecca’s art: Megan will be talking about the importance of sharing our stories of loss, and Coleman will be reading a poem inspired by Rebecca’s work.


If you’re in Portland tomorrow night, I can think of no better plans than to stop by and see Rebecca’s beautiful, heart-snaring works, and to listen to the artist and the various guests share their experiences and stories. And if you do, fill me in, for I wish I could be there with you!

I am excited to announce that Unquiet Things will be featuring an in-depth interview with Rebecca Reeves later this autumn, so please remember to check back at that time! Until then, fill your eyes with her hauntingly thought provoking art at tomorrow’s Garden Of Grief.

Currently {5.24.18}

Not todayI had to change the date in the title of this post three times because I honestly could not remember the date, or when I was, or, quite frankly, even where I am.

I has been a strange few months, full of extremes, and I feel like I am just now having the opportunity to take a deep breath (but hopefully not the sort you take before you plunge back into the fray, because I am tuckered out!)


In April, our merry band of weirdos met up for our yearly adventure, and this time the destination was Seattle! (See previously: Portland & Austin). Seattle is the home of one of my very favorite people, and I had actually planned this trip around the fact that they were getting married this spring. What an honor to have been there for their joyous occasion! And to have met their adorable mother, reunited with old friends, and have had my photo taken the bride and a life-size cardboard Nick Cave! Weddings freak me out, but this one was pretty low-key, had beautiful cakes, and a great soundtrack.  (It also introduced me to my new best friend, Spanx shapewear, about which I wax poetic over here.)

Scared TO Death


One of the highlights of this trip was definitely The Scared To Death exhibit at the Museum of Pop Culture, spanning more than a century of cinema and featuring more than 50 props and costumes from film and television. I didn’t even know this treasure was a thing that existed, let alone present in a city I was traveling to, when I was traveling there–what a treat!

Aside from that, we took in the city, visited a thousand breweries, played countless games of Splendor (my favorite board game right now because it involves baubles!) ate at least five bowls of ramen a piece, got some new jewelry for both my face and my fingers, saw some art, devoured some donuts, spent some quality time with this beloved, beautiful face, and had a pretty fantastic time.

Longwood Gardens NYC

I barely had time to catch my breath before I was again flying away from home, but this time it was to see my BGF, who relocated to the Northeast late last year. (The photo from the top of this post was taken on my first morning there, while we relaxed on her gorgeous balcony with super boozy coffees.) I know we were both desperately looking forward to this visit, and I had a such an incredible time with her, both in catching up on our lives and spending my birthday weekend with my one and only Best Good Friend. We ate delicious cheeses, watched Teen Witch (I had never seen it! It’s pretty bad!) drank a great deal of Japanese whiskey, watched lots of Drag Race, and toured gorgeous gardens with fountains that looked like imaginary views from rich people’s windows in the 1950s, blossoms that look like truly outrageous, villainous rock stars, and romantical towers with dumb people in front of them, ruining my photo.

Whilst visiting, we also embarked on a side quest to NYC where mysterious adventures were had and beautiful artifacts were admired, and I will be writing more about that in a travel diary over at Haute Macabre, in the very near future! Oh, and most importantly, before leaving, I was introduced to what is quite possibly the worlds most delicious snack.


And so, that just about catches us up to present day. Present day being two days after we finally closed the sale on my late grandparents’ home.  We’ve spent the last year and a half trying to close out their estate, and with the selling of the home, we’ve crossed a major item off the list; I feel like we are finally getting somewhere, and maybe there is a light at the end of this long, tedious, depressing tunnel. So on one hand I am feeling fairly celebratory! On the other, though…

My grandparents lived in this house since 1985; they had it built for them to move down from Ohio and live out their twilight years in. They were the only people to ever live in this home, and my family enjoyed (well, mostly enjoyed) thirty or more Thanksgivings at their table. My sisters and I sought refuge there when life with our mother became too volatile; I hauled my laundry over there every Sunday afternoon when I was in my mid-twenties and still living in a small apartment with no washer or dryer. Whatever the reason we were in their home, my grandparents were happy to see us. It was our home, too. And on Tuesday, May 22, 2018 at 2:30 PM it became someone else’s. If they are even half as safe and happy there as my sisters and I were, then these new owners will have spent their money well.
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Some other things I’m into lately…

Some highly recommended reading: The Hunger by Alma Katsu, a thrillingly creepy reimagining of the Donner Party’s history and characters, and Experimental Film, by Gemma Files a strange and excellent story, a sort of pseudo documentary, rich in history and myth and weird technical details, about a mystery many decades old and how it begins to seep into the life of the woman obsessed with it.

Recommended viewing: The Terror (so good!) and Tokyo Vampire Hotel (so ridiculous!)

And that’s it for now! Until next month (or three months from now, whatever.)

The Heart Wants What It Wants And Sometimes It’s A Little Weird


The heart wants what it wants, and sometimes it makes spontaneous decisions to purchase something kinda weird that it has been subconsciously been looking for, for a very long time.


To back up, just a bit: it’s true that instagram can be kind of not great for me (and my wallet); I’m always finding beautiful jewelry or makeup or other frivolities to fall in love with, and with which I desperately desire to fill my greedy hands. But then, when I peek over to see what @phantasmaphile (the luminous witch and wise woman Pam Grossman) is up to, I am always reminded of the things my heart wants….and these things usually have nothing at all do to with that itchy need to continuously fill my hands and closets and shelves with more More MORE.


This thing in particular, if you go by Amazon’s listing, is a “Dewi Rice Goddess Flying Hanging Mermaid Lady“, and I remember seeing their weird, wild likenesses flying from the ceilings of a store in St. Augustine, Florida thirty years ago. I’m sure I didn’t have the money to pay for one at the time, and I probably couldn’t have articulated to my grandparents why I even wanted it, I just knew that it looked beautiful, felt magical, and belonged close to me. I had forgotten all about it, or so I thought, until I saw a little carved wooden lady in one of @phantasmaphile’s instagram stories earlier this week. Her unblinking, expectant gaze immediately sparked this recollection for me, and over the next few hours my mind drifted back in time, to when I was eleven years old, wandering idly through a gift shop, trying not to break anything, and finally settling upon the first time I locked eyes with this representation of something far older and more wondrous than the tourist baubles I had expected to find.


What Pam shared in her instagram stories wasn’t the same exact thing I held dear in my memory, and I wasn’t even sure how to go looking for it. However, my Google search for “carved wooden mermaid flying goddess” eventually lead me to this Dewi rice goddess, and to be quite honest, I am not even sure if this if she is the right one. I think the flying mermaid goddess in my memory held a mirror and a comb, and now that I look again, I think mayhaps I purchased the wrong one. Too late to second guess now!
Well, but I mean, really, is it? I could always get her a friend…


Dewi Sri is the Balinese goddess of rice and prosperity and is believed to have dominion over the underworld and the Moon. I am not sure where or how she becomes a mermaid or a winged creature, but hey, she’s a goddess. They do what they want.


It’s a funny thing when you set out to track down and procure for yourself the things that have been haunting your dreams for over half your life, isn’t it? Are they at all the way we’ve perceived them when we finally get them? My goddess’ wing is not cut the right size for her wing slot, and so it sits a little crooked. I suppose that gives her a jaunty sort of charm. She seems to think so, if her arch smile is any indication. And she may already be bringing bringing me prosperity! She arrived yesterday, and just today we finally closed on the sale of my late grandparent’s house. Coincidence? Well…it was scheduled before I even ordered her.

What does your heart remember, and long for through the years? Did you eventually receive it/retrieve it, and was it all you had dreamed?

DyeForYarn Interview And Giveaway!


Do you like yarn? And weirdness? Those are two of my favorite things! And when I found them  marvelously combined in the gorgeous offerings from DyeForYarn a few years back, I knew I’d lost both my heart and my wallet to these wondrously strange crafters and creators.

With names ranging from the elegant and melancholic (“Rain In A Graveyard“, “Nocturnal Maelstrom“) to the silly (“St. Patrick’s day parade gone awry“) to the absurdly heartbreaking (“Giant clam closing forever“) and the frankly kind of gross (“Cat’s hairball problem“)–you’re almost tempted to spend all your time obsessing over these skeins’ enchanting backstories before you even look at the yarns, themselves! But–you should definitely look at these yarns. Stare long and hard into their subtle shifts and vibrant shades and luminous hues and become totally mesmerized by the outrageous array of options before you!

I’ve long wondered about the humans responsible for creating these silky, squishy, works of art, and was thrilled when, Nicole and Cordula of DyeForYarn agreed to do an interview with Unquiet Things and answer all of my nosy questions! Read further to learn more about the women behind the yarn, and leave a comment for a change to win “Gloomy View”, a gradient set of silk/cashmere lace yarn. ( I chose “Gloomy View” for you guys because I thought it would be appropriate! Right? I know I’m right. More details at the bottom of this post.)


In your former lives you were scientists for biology and molecular medicine at University Erlangen-Nuremberg. Obviously there must be a bit of science with regard to your current work and creating the colors for your yarns, right? (I only vaguely know how science works, haha). But seriously, I’d love to know how your former work in the lab might translate to your current yarn and craft-centric process and practices?

Yes, you’re right. We do benefit from the experience we gathered in different labs. For once we’ve been trained how to organize and optimize workflows. And we’re also trained to work very structured with having everything at hand when we need it. When we try new things like new yarn qualities, dyeing techniques or colors we usually create an experimental series to see how it might work best. Maybe our biggest advantage coming from a lab background, though, was the natural ease in handling chemicals safely. Of course that’s nothing you can’t learn during the process of hand dyeing itself, but it came in handy in the beginning and is still very useful.


Sloth in procrastinator’s paradise

THE BIG QUESTION I have been dying to ask for years is how do you come up with these wonderfully strange and unusual names for your yarns? They reference the esoteric and arcane, and the sublimely absurd…and it leads me to believe that between you, you must have incredibly fascinating and diverse interests when it comes to things like art, literature, cinema, music. Can you speak to that?

Basically we’re classic nerds. We love science, comics (in form of Animes), Fantasy and Science fiction literature and movies. We love music, although not the same genres. Nicole for example adores Amanda Fucking Palmer, Cordula loves Muse. These sources as well as our scientific past and the nature around us are a huge well of inspiration. The specific kind of names we use for our yarns originated in the “Dead parrot sketch” by Monty Python. In the sketch John Cleese tries to convince the pet shop owner, that the parrot he just bought
is dead (and was so when he bought it). He uses several synonyms for being dead which is hilarious. I (Nicole) am a HUGE fan of the troupe and thought that particular sketch very fitting for our natural black humor and our brand name DyeForYarn. So we decided to use these synonyms for yarn names: Ex-parrot, Raven being no more, Sloth in procrastinator’s paradise or Violet coming to dust. This led to names like Rotten chestnut cream macaron, Reaper’s kiss or Bat in a dark mood etc.


Ex-Parrot (sold out)

In that vein, one of my favorite colorways that you create is Very dead Norwegian Blue Parrot! Are there any colorways that seem to be clear customer favorites?

Ha, that’s actually the exact same parrot John Cleese bought in said sketch 😀
Very popular are saturated reds (one of our specialties), deep teals, greens and blues. But also our neutrals (we call them non-colors) and pastels as well as our almost-black shades are very sought-after. What we find very interesting is that over the years one can actually see some preferences between different countries. Germans like very bold, intense colors, Japanese very light pastels, for example.


Fallen Dark Soul

And what are your favorites?

Cordula: Nocturnal maelstrom (intense dark teal), Fallen Dark Soul (deep dark red), Last Dance (almost black reddish purple)

Nicole: Dead Marshes (muted green-blue), Kingfisher pushing up the daisies (muted teal), Withering Lupin (muted gray-purple) and Rose which must not be named (muted purplish rose)

Tweety's Revenge

Tweety’s Revenge

Do you see any trends in terms of colors that people are interested in? What’s popular now?

We sometimes can make out a correlation between current “in”-colors and what sells well, but
because our customers are from all over the world it’s not a very clear correlation. Currently we sell different shades of turquoise and deep blue plus more yellow than usual.

I have seen people who are not knitters (or crocheters) fall in love with your gorgeous yarns. Do you have any alternative craft ideas, incorporating your yarns, for people who do not wield the needles or hooks?

Definitely weaving! Both of us have an Ashford rigid heddle loom, which is very easy to handle and doesn’t take much space (you can hang it on the wall when not needed, even with the warp attached). The only drawback is that it doesn’t fit in a hand bag like a knitting or crocheting project would. We mostly use our Tussah silk lace and fingering, Merino/Silk fingering and Silk/Cashmere lace for our weaving projects, all suitable for warp and weft.
Nicole just finished several weaving projects with our Silk/Cashmere gradient sets. Her ravelry name is Kalessin, in case you need some weaving inspiration ;D

Is there anything else that you would like people to know about your yarns, or your process, or DyeForYarn/DyeForWool?

It’s important for us that our customers know that, even though knitters/crocheters all over the
world are familiar with our brand, it’s still just the two of us, Cordula and Nicole, who dye all the yarns you see in our two Etsy shops. Two days a week our lovely helper Silvia supports us with skeining and winding the hanks, hand-tagging them etc. and our husbands support us with their particular expertises as well. But basically nothing has changed much since we founded DyeForYarn back in 2011. Doing what you love and are passionate about is the best job you can have and we feel very blessed to be able to do that. DyeForYarn has made our lives so much richer and fuller and we hope to get that feeling transferred into our colors.
And you have no idea, what a great and crazy feeling it is to know, that there are actual, real human beings on all (habitable) continents who create wonderful things with the yarns we dyed.

Thanks for your time, Nicole and Cordula, and for putting your exquisite creations out into the world!

Find DyeForYarn: website // etsy // facebook // instagram // twitter

Gloomy View giveaway!

Gloomy View giveaway!

Info from DyeForYarn: “Gloomy View” is a gradient set of silk/cashmere lace yarn. You get a total of 5 Silk/Cashmere Lace skeins (50g each), one of each color, as pictured. All skeins together add up to a total of 1670 yds (1525m), enough for practically any large shawl (or two regular sized shawls, for that matter). Together they give a very muted and dark gradient from bluish green over blue and purple to cacao brown, each color itself being solid to slightly semi solid.

Things That Make One’s Heart Beat Faster

Sei1I don’t think I have the words available to share with you my intense delight regarding the arrival of the newest member of my ghoulish menagerie, brought to uncanny life by the wonderfully talented hands of Han of Handsome Devils Puppets. But I am going to give it a try….

I have long loved the writings of Sei Shōnagon: her elegant lists, her acerbic observations, her beautifully intimate and wonderfully catty diaries–all of her anecdotes and opinions and inner dialogue, from the excruciating minutiae of everyday life, to the exquisite poetry she composed connecting and expanding these trifling, fragmented instances to the broader aspects of lived human experience; these strangely random and tangential stories have informed and inspired my own writings for many, many years now.


Translator Meredith McKinney writes in her intro notes to her translation of Shōnagon’s infamous Pillow Book, “she so engages us because she engages *with* us, we meet her eyes across 1000 years,” and I think that assessment of her ability to connect with us, now, today, through vast stretches of time–a totally different time than that in which she lived– is so eerily and excellently spot-on.

Sei 2

Sometimes, though,  I can’t meet my own eyes in the mirror after reading a selection from The Pillow Book. McKinney further writes of the “spontaneity and intimacy” of Shōnagon’s writing, that “…draws the reader into a warm complicity, even when we find ourselves appalled at her frequent snobbery and occasional cruelty.” Shōnagon is basically a Heian era Mean Girl blogger, you know? And as someone who considers themselves to be “a very super nice person”–probably too nice for their own good– it is this mean streak that appears throughout her beautiful, clever writings that fascinates me endlessly.

Is that weird? I don’t understand the mindset of the mean. Except…I suppose…when I do. I can be rather scathing in my own thoughts about something I didn’t enjoy, or someone I don’t care for, and I must often remind myself that while cleverness is an admirable trait, cleverness can often come at the expense of kindness…and even if I didn’t say whatever means-spirited thing aloud, I still thought it. Or wrote it. Even if no one saw it.

And perhaps Shonagon thought that her writings, her pillow book, would never see the light of day? I don’t know. So while I started this rumination up on my high horse, with the statement that I find such cruelty and unkind thoughts alien to my personality…perhaps in exploring it a little, Sei Shōnagon and I are more alike than I would care to admit, and it is less a fascination with behavior foreign to me, and more that I am recognizing a kinship.


There’s not a great deal of imagery to be found with regard to Sei Shōnagon, and so we took some liberty with her appearance, adding some subtle, gothy touches to her sweeping robes, instead of what otherwise might have been a more brightly colored ensemble. I think she is utterly, gloriously perfect, from her lips and brows and inky cascade of hair, to the tips of her tabi-socked, be-sandaled feet, I am awestruck at the thought and research and inventiveness that went into her creation.

Shōnagon wrote of “Things That Make One’s Heart Beat Faster”, and the rare beauty of this marvelous, hand-sculpted, one-of-a-kind piece of art is most certainly at the top of my list of such things. Thank you, Han. She is amazing, in the truest sense of the word.

Sei10 Sei12 Sei13


Needful Things


At Haute Macabre today, a new feature: Needful Things!

We had such a blast sharing our year-end favorites with you, that we decided to make a quarterly(ish) thing of it, wherein we chat about the assortment of odds and ends that we currently love and recommend.

This is a series that I am super excited about; I love suggestions and recommendations from like-minded folks, I think that’s so much more useful and valuable than just a random link-dump of stuff that looks pretty but with which the sharer has no experience, you know?

At any rate, Maika and I have the floor today, so be sure to peek at our current Needful Things, and check back for Sam’s and Sonya’s selections later this afternoon!

Pictured above is not one of my Needful Things, exactly…it’s a dress that I was able to shove myself into after donning one of those Needful Things. I got it from eshakti, and I am not sure if it is still in stock, but lordy be–they have so many amazing black dresses! : A Polyvore Alternative?


Ok, I don’t want to get too excited just yet, but I may have found a polyvore replacement*. Here’s a test ensemble!

(*Oh–you didn’t know polyvore was gone? Read this first…)

I’m testing out I signed up for it a few weeks ago, but I guess I was too heavy-hearted to give it much of a chance. On a whim, I logged in this evening to poke around a bit, and here’s my verdict thus far: it’s not perfect, and it’s not got all the functionality that polyvore had, but…it’s a start?

They do have the option to add your own images, which is good, because I almost never want to use the clothing and brands that are readily available on these sites. Does that make me a snob? Maybe? I just happen to like the offerings from lots of indie designers and artisans and I like to support their efforts and creations whenever possible. Also, the ambiguity of adding “an image” means that it can be things other than straight up fashion–like, perfume for example. Or maybe a photo or some art? I haven’t tried that yet, so I will have to get back to you. I often feature art in these sets I put together, so that’s kind of important. The downside is that since you are just adding your own images, it doesn’t create a link back to the item, for shopping purposes (like polyvore’s “clipper” function did). This could be something they are working on, though, as it looks like they are acknowledging there’s a lot of polyvore folks who are looking for a new home, and I think they want to accommodate that.

Some other things of note: the cropping function is not perfect. It doesn’t white out backgrounds like polyvore used to do (when the backgrounds were greyish or mostly white), and for some reason, it doesn’t want to save every single image that you are using. Still. It’s a start! ALSO, something else they have done is given use the option to upload that polyvore content download zip file that we all asked for into your account at shoplook. You can see all of my former polyvore sets here, from my profile page, of you click the “polyvore” link.

If you’ve got any questions I will try to answer them, but this is only the first set I’ve made, and I am still feeling my way around. And if you are already using it, please tell me what you think of the platform! Also, if you’re over there already, let me know! I don’t know how to add friends yet (or even if you can?) but I will see what I can see…

Included in the above ensemble: dress by Chloe, unders by Lonely Lingerie, sunnies by Valley Eye Wear, boots from Fluevog, bag from Zana Bayne, ritual strand from bloodmilk, rings by Arcana Obscura and Black Dust, makeup from Rituel de Fille and fragrance from Diptyque


this, that, and the other thing {xliv}

Sensitive-Survivors-by-Puur-Anders-9-960x1392@2xOverlooked Plants Printed With Found Images by Miranda van Dijk

jenna bartonOracular Creatures and Arcane Spaces: The Enigmatic Art of Jenna Barton

the-woman-in-the-window-twoPortraits of Women in Film Noir

The Visual Aesthetic of Dario Argento’s ‘Suspiria’

The Myths and Realities Behind The Exorcist

Final Fantasy VII’s Cosmo Canyon Sequence Is A Meditation On Family, Sacrifice, And Existence Itself

Do Nothing Unless It Feeds You

11 Poets Beyoncé Should Feature on Her Next Visual Album

Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination

Remembering Photographer Laura Aguilar’s Empathetic, Queer Art

The Outlawed Secret Masonic Society of Pugs

How Poetry and Math Intersect

What, Prithee, Is A Poetess?

Elsa Lanchester, Herself (Interview And Book Giveaway)–Ends Today!

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