Links Of The Dead {January 2018}

A gathering of death related links that I have encountered in the past month or so. From somber to hilarious, from informative to creepy, here’s a snippet of things that have been reported on or journaled about in or related to the Death Industry recently.

This time last year: Links of the Dead {January 2017} | {January 2016}

💀 Feminist Death Work: A History
💀 My therapist died. Is it okay to go to her memorial services?
💀 We’ve got to start talking about grief in the face of deaths that are not beautiful.
💀 Death as Entertainment at the Paris Morgue
💀 ‘The Bright Hour,’ By Nina Riggs And ‘The Art Of Death,’ By Edwidge Danticat
💀 Death Salon with Nuri McBride
💀 How Do We Bury the Writing of the Dead?
💀 Two new books that can help both those in mourning
💀 Smell of death tells undertaker bees it’s time to remove corpses
💀 The new death industry: funeral businesses that won’t exploit grief
💀 Drive-Thru Funeral Home
💀 What to do with the remains of notorious criminals.
💀 WeCroak: An app to remind you that the end is near
💀 Breakfast, Then Death. A piece of short fiction by Claire L. Smith
💀 For the Living, a Donated Face. For the Dead, a Lifelike Replacement.
💀 French YouTube channel, Le Bizarreum, explores death through historical and archaeological cases.
💀 On why writing about grief sometimes means you have to sneak into a defunct cemetery

The Re-Shelvening

Whole Shelf

I don’t quite recall when we first installed this spacious landscape of shelves into my office, but what I can assure you is that they have been amassing quite a lot of junk ever since! (The above is an “after” photo, and as you’ll see, I still have a lot of junk.)

It occurred to me that there was a great deal of empty space just begging to be filled with all of the books that were lying around the house because the other bookshelves were already dangerously full. I figured hey, I’ll take this opportunity in finding a home for all the wayward books, to do a bit of organizing…and who knows…maybe that will clear up space for more books!

I posted a few photos on Instagram of this process and several folks requested that I share some lists of the titles I was reorganizing. I am happy to! See below for a shelf-by-shelf breakdown of what got moved where and why, my probably-logical-only-to-me reorganization system, and where to find each of the books if you want them for your own shelves.

Haunted Anthologies

A shelf of mostly haunted anthologies that have covers illustrated by Edward Gorey.

The Ghost In The Far Garden
Ghostly Gentlewomen
Bewitched Beings
Cat Encounters
Grande Dames Of Detection
Ladies Of The Gothics
Sisters Of Sorcery
Baleful Beasts
The Haunted Dolls
My Heart’s In Greenwich Village


A shelf of the weird, the uncanny, the psychotic, the satanic.

Satanic Feminism
The Horror Reader
Satanic Panic
The Uncanny
Monsters Of Our Own Making
House Of Psychotic Women
Lost Girls: The Phantasmagorical Cinema Of Jean Rollin
Vampira: Dark Goddess Of Horror
HP Lovecraft: A Life
Uncanny Reader
Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life
Powers of Horror: An Essay on Abjection


A shelf of poetry that didn’t fit on the other poetry shelf, zines, and weird booklets that defy categorization. And a funny little goblincat to watch over it all. Also, the best candle.

Best Bones
Paperdoll Fetus
A Red Witch, Every Which Way
Dear Jenny, We Are All Find
Swan Feast 
Dream Date With A Villain
Dream Date With A Villain Vol. 2
Forever Doomed
Witch Women
Die Mensur (not sure of availability)
Morbid Fantasies (only available as PDF)
The Occult Activity Book (not available)
The Occult Activity Book Vol. 2 (not available)
Sound Of Snow Falling
Hera Lindsay Bird
I Miss The World
The Impossible Fairy Tale
The Atheist Wore Goat Silk
Literary Witches
Teaching My Mother To Give Birth
Milk And Honey
Ask Baba Yaga
Bags (This is by the Over The Garden Wall guy; not sure on availability)

perfumeA shelf for perfume and the dark arts.

Italy’s Witches And Medicine Women
The Ultimate Guide To Tarot Card Meanings
Cosmos, Chaos And The World To Come
The Black Arts
Victoria Regina Tarot Companion
Season of the Witch: How the Occult Saved Rock and Roll
Satanic Alchemy: Atrocities Of Gilles de Rais
The Secret Of Scent
Essence And Alchemy
The Emperor Of Scent
Perfumes: The A-Z Guide
The Tarot Bible


A shelf on writing, creativity, journals…and my mother’s cremains in a teacup.

What It Is
On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft
A Year Of Creative Writing Prompts
A Short Guide To Writing About Art
Ghost Stories And How To Write Them
Artful Sentences: Syntax As Style


A shelf of cookbooks, recipes, eating and drinking. Some of these things are not like the others.

Cannibal Kitchen: A Horror Lovers Cookbook
Whistle Stop Cafe Cookbook
Damn Fine Cherry Pie: And Other Recipes from TV’s Twin Peaks
Feeding Hannibal: A Connoisseur’s Cookbook
Death Warmed Over: Funeral Food, Rituals, and Customs from Around the World
Square Meals
My Kitchen Year: 136 Recipes That Saved My Life
Smuggler’s Cove: Exotic Cocktails, Rum, and the Cult of Tiki
Death & Co: Modern Classic Cocktails
The Zombies That Ate Pittsburgh
Son Of The Martini Cookbook
Chas Addams Half-Baked Cookbook
The Death Row Cookbook
The Cannibal’s Cookbook
Decadent Cookbook
The Dark Shadows Cookbook

deathThe Death & Stuff shelf.

Fashion Victims
Death’s Summer Coat
Rest in Pieces: The Curious Fates of Famous Corpses
Dr. Mutter’s Marvels
Morbid Anatomy Anthology
Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers
Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory
Bitten by Witch Fever: Wallpaper & Arsenic in the Nineteenth-Century Home
From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death

altar incense perfume samples

And the rest of the shelves…well…they’re a bit of a work in progress. There’s my mom altar, my shelf of incense, potions, and elixirs, and then an entire shelf dedicated to perfume samples! And as you can see from the photo at the very top of this post, there’s still a few shelves that need some work; they’re in odd or hard to reach spots with relation to my desk and where I sit, and so right now they are home to weird little action figures and toys that still need some sorting.

…so that’s it! And in case you are wondering: yes. Yes, I did clear some space to make room for even more books.

How To Wear Hushed Embroidery

How to wear Fevernest

I am thrilled to announce that my fancy wardrobe collages have found a seconds home over at Haute Macabre, where “How To Wear {insert some ridiculous thing here}” will become a recurring series!

This week we have How To Wear An Article About Hushed And Haunted Embroidery That You Wrote Three Weeks Ago…head on over to Haute Macabre for the details!

Previous ensembles at Unquiet Things can be found here.

Shudder Picks For This Friday Night


There is nothing as irritating and frustrating as scrolling through your video service of choice for twenty minutes or more and not seeing anything that looks even halfway decent or that grabs your attention. This makes me very angry! I’ve been known to toss the remote across the room in a snit over this very vexation–I mean why are we even paying for these services? I know, this is a really dumb thing to complain about, but it is one of those things that gets my dander up.

A couple years ago, on a whim, I started up a free trial for Shudder (“Curated Thrills, Horror, and Suspense That Will Make Your Spine Tingle”, whee!) through Amazon, and promptly forgot about it. But when I was compiling films to watch this past October for my 31 Days Of Horror project, I realized that Shudder really has some amazing selections. If you’re into super current releases, you might be a bit disappointed, but if your thing is slightly obscure cinema, or previously difficult to find movies, or films with a cult following–there is really a treasure trove of riches to dig through here. Don’t go by current line up of titles they show on the welcome screen at any given time–there is so much more available than that. Which isn’t to say that there’s a magnificently huge selection, but I have found that the really interesting titles are is not the ones featured on the front page.

But let’s say you’re on the sofa, you’ve got your popcorn ready, and you want something NOW. You don’t want to dig around and scroll endlessly for hours and then it’s midnight before you settle on something. I hear you, and I am here to help.

(By the way, how do you eat your popcorn? I like mine with butter, flaky salt, aonori, and nutritional yeast! I could eat it morning, noon and night. Popcorn for life.)

Below are twenty(ish) films that I found in their 50 or so pages of selections, that have my stamp of approval. I mean, don’t tell anyone that. My stamp of approval is sort of worthless, so no doubt they’ll just laugh at you. But between you and me, you cannot go wrong with the following choices, some of which I have mentioned or reviewed previously, and some of which appeared on Unquiet Things as part of a guest blog post, just last week!


Jordskott (series)
A Tale of Two Sisters
The Beyond
Battle Royale
The Whip and the Body
The Host
Kill, Baby Kill
High Tension
The Devil’s Backbone
Let Sleeping Corpses Lie
The Stendhal Syndrome
Berberian Sound Studio


And here are some films that I have read about over the years, or which have been on my list of things to watch, and I was very excited to find them on *Shudder as well! Have you found any gems or must-see movies on Shudder (or amazon prime, or netflix, for that matter–we have all of them!)

Short Night of Glass Dolls 
Black Belly of the Tarantula
The Church
The Velvet Vampire
Baba Yaga
Dead Ringers
Nightmares Come At Night
The Last Circus {h/t to Kate for making me aware of this one!}

*These are all my opinions, and Shudder did not pay me for my enthusiasm.

{Guest Post} Ten Gems Of Decadent Cinema


I have a difficult time watching movies. I mean, I love movies, and I love watching them but I tend to become fixated on minute details. And if it is a particularly gorgeous film, brimming with opulence and utterly dripping with lavish details, well, then we have a problem, because I am painstakingly pausing the film every few seconds, scene by scene, to capture a certain detail–the shadowy fold of a velvet skirt, the glinting facets of a crystal goblet, the glow of candlelight on skin. More often than not it takes me five hours to watch a standard length film.

Sometime starting in 2016, I think, I began marveling at the sumptuous, sensuous cinematic screen shots posted over at @la.belle.otero‘s instagram. This person, I thought, has without a doubt elevated the dreamy, decadent screen shot to an art form! I became obsessed with the images they would share– poetic, hypnotic glimpses of films I’d never even seen or heard of! In addition to mesmerizing scenes graced by magnificently beautiful women, the account is also awash in an abundance of wickedly exquisite art and fashion.

On a whim, I inquired of the owner of this instagram account if she might like to put together a guest post detailing some of her favorite or most beloved gems of decadent cinema to share with the readers of Unquiet Things, and I was delighted when she agreed!

Jessica enthuses about all things strange and unusual in art, books, film, and fashion on her Instagram, @la.belle.otero , and contributes regularly to @dreamersofdecadence and @lesfemmespsychotiques. Her formal background is in Comparative Literature and Fashion Design.

The Seventh Victim: Produced by B-movie master Val Lewton, this cult/noir classic from 1943 oozes with glamour and gloom. Set in Greenwich Village with a plot revolving around a mysterious missing sister and a Satanic cult, it features one of the most visually striking characters in noir cinema. It’s impossible to take your eyes off of Jean Brooks as Jacqueline, with her long black bob and dark fur coat, sunk deep into an armchair. The Seventh Victim is a concise and enigmatic thriller steeped in a highly stylized, sinister atmosphere, but it’s truly Brooks as the troubled and traumatized femme fatale who makes it essential viewing.

LizardBlack Lizard
: I rarely recommend films to people if they’re hard to find or not commercially available. There’s one I always make an exception for, and that’s this one. This 1968 gonzo Japanese campadelic crime caper stars renowned drag queen Akihiro Miwa as a glamorous jewel thief, and features Aubrey Beardsley-inspired sets, a collection of human statues, and a cameo by literary icon Yukio Mishima (who wrote the play on which the film was based). Directed by Kinji Fukasaku, who would much later become famous for Battle Royale, this gem is ripe for rediscovery.

Morgiana: When it comes to aesthetics, nothing makes me giddier than the Belle Epoque through the lens of the 1970s, and this Czech gothic horror film revels in it. It’s a study in elegance and creepiness with an interplay of light versus darkness, embodied in the two sisters (both played by the same actress, Iva Janzurova) at the center of the of a surreal fairytale struggle between good and evil. The costumes and art direction are ominously executed with meticulous detail (every delicate object, every fold of cloth catches the eye), and emphasized by the hallucinatory camerawork.

Don’t Deliver Us from Evil: Two teenage girls in rural France, fed up with the humdrum of their lives, give into the temptations of the dark side by way of the writings of Charles Baudelaire and the Comte de Lautrémont, and are ultimately and irrevocably plunged head first into a life of crime and an unwavering devotion to evil. With such a plot, it would be easy for this film to be little more than typical exploitation fare, however director Joel Séria gives the viewer something much more poetically sinister, propelled by strong performances from the lead actresses and capped off by an unforgettably shocking final scene.

Five Dolls for an August Moon: I’m a devotee of the giallo genre, and although a well-developed plot is often what makes the best of these films great, sometimes storyline simply takes a backseat to pure eye candy. Mario Bava’s take on Ten Little Indians utterly abandons logic in favor of a pop art extravaganza dripping with candy-hued tones (even the blood is peppermint red). Featuring giallo queen Edwige Fenech at her most beautiful, the “dolls” are resplendent in retro-fabulous costumes that parade on the screen like a late ‘60s fashion show. If you’re feeling puzzled by the ponderous and often incomprehensible dialogue, most DVD releases treat you to a soundtrack-only option, which is one of composer Piero Umiliani’s grooviest.

Daughters of Darkness: Who wouldn’t give into the ravishes of vampires who looked like Marlene Dietrich and Louise Brooks? Renowned actress Delphine Seyrig, with the help of her young companion, seduce a newlywed couple in an abandoned grand seaside hotel in Belgium. Seyrig’s elaborate and breathtaking costumes took up a large chunk of the film’s budget, and it shows. Her hypnotic beauty and lines delivered in a voice that manages to be both breathy and husky at the same time are reason enough to see this 1971 treasure, but there’s even more to be enjoyed, such as the desolate beach locations, and the deserted opulence of the hotel itself.

Nightmares Come at Night: Les Cauchemars naissent la nuit, one of dizzyingly prolific director Jess Franco’s most personal and obscure projects, has a title that is not as elegantly rendered in English, but in any language, the title reveals little of the film’s secrets. Thought to be lost for many years until it was released on DVD around a decade ago, Nightmares contains many elements and themes central to Franco’s filmography: mind control, madness, bizarre night club acts, remote locales, and perhaps most importantly, borderlines between dreams and reality. A difficult film to describe, but truly worthy of watching in an attempt to unravel its mysteries.


Fascination: French director Jean Rollin is often mentioned in the same breath as Spaniard Jess Franco, but the two directors’ works are as different from each other as they are intimately aligned with each director’s singular vision. Rollin, famed for his repeated use of vampires, took an unusual diversion on the theme in 1979. Rather than the traditional fanged undead, Fascination centers around two women (another construct frequently employed by the director) holed up in a chateau who are initiates of an all-female blood-drinking cult, where they are about to turn the tables on a violent gang of criminals who invade their terrain. The Belle Epoque via the ‘70s aesthetic is another huge plus.

Possession Possession: Made infamous by appearing on the banned British “video nasty” list in the 1980s, this film by late Polish art house director Andzrej Zulawski transcends the oversimplification of mere “horror movie” into something sublime and inexplicable. The plot centers around the violent dissolution of a marriage, and the crystallization of the resulting outpour of emotion into a truly horrific physical entity. Possession is simply unlike anything else, and defies description (and often, comprehension). Isabelle Adjani was awarded Best Actress at the Cannes Film Festival in 1981 for her gut-wrenchingly unhinged performance.

Camille 2000: Radley Metzger specialized in making the sublime ridiculously sublime through his softcore (and later, hardcore) adaptations of literary classics. This film takes the 19th century novel La Dame aux Camélias (which has been adapted numerous times into theatrical, opera, and prior film versions) and transplants it into swinging ‘60s Rome. Metzger excelled in creating lavish masterpieces out of what could easily have been done on the cheap, and true to form, every shot is lovingly framed with exquisite cinematography. Even the sex scenes are filmed with a sophistication rarely seen in “euro-cult” movies of this era. A rich orchestral score, an outrageous dungeon party scene, ultra-mod furnishings (oh, to have a clear inflatable couch!), and a dizzying array of costumes, all add to the icing on this decadent confection.

Thank you, Jessica! Do you have a weird or strange interest or passion or obsession that you would like to share with the readers of Unquiet Things? Are you interested in writing up a guest post about it? Please let me know! I will pay you with a knitted good for your time!

The New Faces Of Death: Interview with Bess Lovejoy


illustration: Mark Stutzman

(The New Faces of Death is a series I originally wrote, beginning in 2015, and which was published at Dirge. The site is no longer active or updating.)

The New Faces Of Death is a series of profiles and interviews in which we celebrate five influential women passionately involved in the Death Positivity / Death Acceptance movement. Women who seek, in different ways, to educate our repressed society regarding the various facets of death and how to cultivate a relationship with death that is liberating, humanizing – and ultimately – life-enhancing. From mourning and memory to pathology and the intricacies of the human body, from the meaning of a “good death” to The Order of the Good Death, and The Death Salon: we invite you to read further, learn much, and meet the new faces of Death.

Our first installment highlighted Sarah Troop, Executive Director of The Order of the Good Death and Social Media Editor for Death Salon, as well as blogger and writer at Nourishing Death and Death and the Maiden.

Today we focus on Bess Lovejoy,  a writer and editor who lives in Brooklyn. She is the author of Rest in Pieces: The Curious Fates of Famous Corpses a bestselling book which promises tales of the zany adventures of famous folks who have shuffled off this mortal coil: “The famous deceased have been stolen, burned, sold, pickled, frozen, stuffed, impersonated, and even filed away in a lawyer’s office. Their fingers, teeth, toes, arms, legs, skulls, hearts, lungs, and nether regions have embarked on voyages that crisscross the globe and stretch the imagination.”

She is an editor for Mental Floss, and a researcher for books and film. Her work has appeared in The New York TimesThe Wall Street JournalTimeSmithsonian.comThe BelieverLapham’s QuarterlyThe Boston Globe, The Public Domain Review, Atlas Obscura, and elsewhere. Previously, she worked on the Schott’s Almanac series for five years.

She is a member of The Order of the Good Death and a founding member of Death Salon.


How did you become interested in death and how did that lead to your current role in the death industry or as a death positive activist?

I’ve been interested in death since my late teens. Not so much the physical act of death as the idea of mortality, the idea that life is finite. I was sort of surprised that I wasn’t hearing more people talk about this basic fact, and that people seemed to go about their businesses ignoring it. I just thought it was an intellectually and emotionally interesting thing to contemplate, something refreshingly honest in a world that seemed full of fakery.

When I decided I wanted to write a book, I stumbled upon the idea of Rest in Pieces. When I started to get active on social media as I was researching/writing the book, it led me to connect with a group of death-positive activists and really progressive funeral directors. They enjoyed the morbid tidbits I was gathering on the strange fates of famous corpses for my book, and I enjoyed learning more about the practical realities of death. It kind of hooked into an interest that had been bubbling along for the past 15 years or so.


What drew you to your particular profession?

I’ve always known that the only thing I’m good at is writing, researching, editing. And even that’s debatable, some days!

What do you want people to take away from the work that you do?

In a general sense, I work to connect people to the hidden histories of the world around us; stories that make the places and objects surrounding us become more alive, more intimately connected to us. We’ve often been presented a version of the past that’s scrubbed of all the death, sex, and magic, as well as a lot of class and gender issues, so I try to find those stories and share them.

With the death-oriented stuff, I’m trying to remind people of the realities of death and the virtues of confronting it: less fear and an enhanced sense of living.

I’m inspired by Montaigne, who said: “He who would teach men to die would teach them to live.”

I also want remind people that they have choices about how they die and what will happen after death, and the importance of being prepared.

What are some of the most common misconceptions you’ve run into about your job, and to a larger extent, the death industry in general? What do you do to disabuse people of those notions – or not?

People think I’m incredibly brave, or have an iron stomach, and neither of those things are true. I’m actually extremely sensitive and I don’t like blood and gore much at all. But I just have the will to follow my curiosity. If you open your mind just a crack, a lot of what our culture thinks is “gross” is terribly fascinating.

I don’t “get off” on suffering and pain. For instance, I’m not into serial killer stuff, partly because I grew up around a number of them in the Pacific Northwest. So people will tag me on Facebook when a new serial killer documentary comes out, because they heard I “like morbid stuff,” and it drives me crazy. Or send me stories about dead babies. Argh!

Many people find working with the dead or talking about death creepy, or macabre or morbid – how do you enroll those people into the conversation?

In any given room, half the people will open their mouths in fascination and step forward, and the other half will retreat in terror. (That’s an exaggeration, but I’ve seen a simila scenario giving readings.) I think it’s important to respect people’s boundaries, so I never push. I just lay out the facts, and tell the stories, when and where I’m asked to. People can take it or leave it. But I do find that sensitivity, openness, and humor help people feel more comfortable. Humor is kind of the gateway drug into the macabre world, but it has to be done with taste.

Can you tell us about the death community in your area, is it welcoming and/or responsive to what you are doing?

I’m lucky in that I came from Seattle to NYC, and both places have a nice death-positive network. Seattle is where Death Over Dinner started, and it’s the home of the People’s Memorial Co-Op, one of the first (if not the first) funeral co-ops in the nation. And there’s fantastic green funeral directors like Jeff Jorgenson . New York has people like the fearless Amy Cunningham, a great green funeral director and educator, and the Morbid Anatomy Museum, where the death-curious can go for wonderful talks, among other things.

Death Salon: Mütter Museum on October 4-6, 2015.

Death Salon: Mütter Museum on October 4-6, 2015.

What is your role within the Order of the Good Death, and can you tell us a little bit about what you talked about at October’s Death Salon?

For me, it’s fairly informal. I’m part of a group that contributes to what (I hope) is interesting and insightful death-positive content out there in the world. We share interests, we cross-promote, and to be perfectly honest, I think it removes some of the competitiveness that would otherwise be there.

At Death Salon I spoke briefly about Hart Island, which is New York’s potter’s field. There are close to a million bodies there, and burials have been going on since the 1860s.

What can we do to open up the conversation on death? To not just increase awareness of it, but to make more sense of death and dying, to allay our death anxiety?

Whenever people talk about it, that’s useful. Gradual, open, honest conversations – preferably in comfortable settings – reduce the fear and the anxiety and lessen the stigma. Being confronted with the physicality of death is also helpful – I felt much less fearful about cremation when I saw cremains for the first time.

How have your views on the afterlife affected your involvement in the death industry, or vice versa?

I’m really not sure what I think about the afterlife. I have no certainty on the subject, and I’m only interested abstractly. It’s a great mystery, but most of the time I don’t feel like I’m burning to answer that question. I like keeping it at arm’s length. This occasionally creates mild conflict with others who are more spiritual or religious and think they know for sure what’s going to happen – but for a writer, I think skepticism and an open mind is a useful combination.

And lastly, what is your ideal death scenario – your dream death as it were?

I’m still working on what my ideal death scenario would be. I know I’d like to be in a beautiful place, to have been able to say goodbye to loved ones, and to have struck some balance between not being in too much pain and not on too many drugs. After death, I’d like to be cremated and scattered in Puget Sound, I think, or perhaps in the San Juan Islands, where my family used to camp growing up.

All Of The Things I Knit In 2017


Yes, we are halfway through the month of January in the new year, and here I am still talking about what I accomplished in the last year, like that high school quarterback whose glory days you have to hear about every time you go to get your car serviced, because there’s that guy who peaked in his senior year and now he’s changing the oil in your Toyota Matrix. I mean, I don’t personally know that guy. I don’t have any friends who played sports. And I didn’t have any friends in high school. And I quite frequently forget to get my oil changed!

But because I am a busy lady with stuff and things to do and who is living her best life and every day is a glory day (right? right!) I am just now getting around to gathering up all of the projects I finished last year. It makes me feel like I have been productive, like I have been industrious, like all the time I spent watching things like Broadchurch and Jordskott weren’t hours totally wasted, because I was also creating something beautiful! Just let me have this, ok?



These are the Froot Loop socks by Kristi Geraci from the Spring Issue of Knitty, 2008. I have knit them up several times now, and they are one of my favorite sock patterns. I think the yarn is from knitpicks. I believe they now reside with a Russian poet.



The Blue Dahlia shawl by Andrea Jurgrau, which you can find in her book New Vintage Lace: Knits Inspired By the Past. I thought this was going to be a major challenge, but nce I got the hang of the pattern, I daresay I enjoyed it; I ran into a snag and panicked, but rejoiced when I realized there is some errata, and it was not, actually, my fault. Yarn is a steely grey from knitpicks, and the shawl now lives with a creator of jewels and magic.


19380086_801094526712559_8479197213984030720_n_medium2 (1)

I guess it took me three months to knit up these socks? They are the Rib and Cable Socks by Nancy Bush from Interweave Knits, Fall 2005. I didn’t really love the heel and the toes in this pattern so I just used the instructions from Charade, instead. There may be some tiny differences, between the two–one of the cuffs is slightly longer, one of the toes is shorter. I’ve nicknamed them the wabi-sabi socks, because for whatever little flaws they have, I still think they are perfect, and they currently warm the tootsies of a dear friend of mine, a jeweler and artisan who has elevated jewelry–and friendship–to an art form.



In August I went through a phase where I wanted to do something with my funky-colored sock yarns other than make socks. Reyna by Noora Laivola was an excellent pattern for this! A pattern designed specifically to work with the variegation of colors, instead of getting obscured underneath the color changes, it is supposed to work with a single skein of sock yarn, but due to some miscalculations on my part, it took a bit of a second skein of the same color way that I just happened to have on hand. Reyna flew off to sweet friend who is a sculptor of curious critters and is one of the most generous souls that I know. (Top photo by said friend.)


In August I also knit another pair of socks, using the Charade pattern, by Sandra Park. I have knit this pattern countless times, it is one of my favorites, and my go-to for whenever I get new sock yarn without a specific idea in mind. These were gifted, along with the shawl immediately above, to the same person.


The Age of Brass and Steam Kerchief by Orange Flower Yarn was a lovely, mindless knit and I have quite forgotten who I sent it to! I hope they are enjoying it, where ever it ended up.


This is…an unfortunate photo of the second version of the Reyna shawl that I knit. I finished it in a hotel room, and gave it a bit of a soak and lay it on a towel to dry. I shared a photo and someone pointed out that it looks like a slightly rounded bottom, wearing a pair of undies! I’ve nicknames this version the “secret butts shawl”. It was knit up in some old hand painted lace in lovely earthy tones, and gifted to a perfumer who already owns the sister shawl–a piece I knit ages ago, with the same yarn. It was my first ever fancy shawl! I am so pleased that this wonderful person now owns both.


Elle Eir 21436061_131225074166337_4353030224435216384_n_medium2

Eir by Caitlin Ffrench was among the hurricane knits I busied myself with while we were waiting out a violent storm in late summer of this year. It was a lovely, mindless triangle shawl project, with an interesting border that I really love. Knit up in knitpicks city tweed, it now lives in TX with lovely friend who makes gorgeous jeweled creations. (The top photo is hers.)


Siren’s Song by Caitlin Ffrench (you’ll notice that a Caitlin Ffrench obsession has begun) was knit up in Knitting Fever Painted Desert yarn and was another really nice pattern that kept my interest but also allowed me to watch a lot of teevee at the same time. I gave this to a wild, wise, bohemian spirit out west who shared some poignant insight with me several years ago when my mother died and I have never forgotten her words or their impact on me at the time.

21910716_796552350506861_9014419180664913920_n_medium2 25465848_10215025231002887_1434747529_n

It’s strange how sometimes you will make something and already have someone in mind to be on the receiving end for it. And in extra-special sometimes, you were right to think so! I completed the Elk Tooth shawl by Caitlin Ffrench and upon sharing it on instagram, a friend immediately commented upon it. The funny thing is, the pattern, the name, the yarn–it all had me thinking of her as I was knitting it! And so of course it had to go home to this person, a far away friend that I would love to spend time with in real life because I think we would get on splendidly.  The bottom photo was taken by this very friend.



Sometimes people ask me if I sell my knits. I do not. I knit because I enjoy knitting, and I give my finished knits away because I enjoy giving. Selling the product of an activity I enjoy lessens the enjoyment of it for me, somehow. Also, I do not write my own patterns–everything I knit is from a pattern that someone else’s work and creativity has gone into–and I am not sure of the ethics or legalities involved in that. However! I do trade my work! This particular knit, Mabon, by Caitlin Ffrench, was traded away and you may very well see the other side of the trade showing up on Unquiet Things here soon!


These two altar cloths were each knit up in the span of a day, another wonderfully satisfying little pattern by Caitlin Ffrench. I sent these to a longtime friend and purveyor of enchanted & esoteric perfumes, and hopefully they are sitting around in her laboratory, witnessing all kinds of sorcerous stinkery!


23421421_1017087681764733_8898084446649974784_n_medium2 Darla Ostara

Ostara by Caitlin Ffrench called for a much bulkier yarn and larger needles, but I knit it up with lace weight and sizes twos, just to see how it would come out. It doesn’t work for my purposes, but it’s beautiful, nonetheless, and a fairly simple, engaging pattern. In the meantime, I am knitting up several different version of this pattern–different yarn, needles, pattern modifications–so I’ll get the perfect shawl eventually! Subsequent versions of this shawl are all headed off to the same very special version, for a very special event, and I am hoping one will work. If not, that’s okay. I kind of foisted the idea on them anyway, and they don’t have to use it for this express purpose! They can use it for whatever. I just wanted to make something special for someone dear to me. This first test version, however, lives with an artist and photographer and amazingly creative mind who I admire tremendously. She snapped this bottom photo of the shawl for me– and this, too, is a small piece of art that blows my mind.



I closed out the year by knitting up another version of that Steam and Brass kerchief, simple stitches whilst watching Dark on netflix (which was excellent and you should watch it now if you have not already!) This was a trade with an incredible artist for which I received a most exquisite photo in exchange.

And that’s it! If you’re curious though, here are some things I plan on tackling in 2018:




{Guest Post} Planners: Rituals Of Comfort, Agents Of Change


Planner headerI spent some much-needed quality times with my sisters over the Thanksgiving holiday. We sat in companionable silence, ignoring each other in favor of our various quiet pursuits while eating mass quantities of junk food–and it was utterly glorious.

I snapped a photo of my baby sister’s afternoon pastime (forgive me, she’s in her late 30s now, but you know how it is–the youngest is always the baby. I’m the oldest, if you didn’t know!) She was earnestly carving out time in her planner for this, that, or the other thing, and while she was doing so, I snapped a photo and shared it to Instagram. It garnered such an interesting response! Some folks were much like me, in that we can’t be bothered with planners, but still find the concept and execution fascinating. Some people thought it was quite a work of art! And others were keenly interested in learning more, for they too, yearn to make sense of their schedules and set things to order.

She and I decided that it might be fun for her to put together a little guest blog for the New Year, when everyone is trying to pin down their plans and get organized for 2018. See below for her journey from a sad, struggling soul who felt like life was something that happened to her, to a woman with purpose …and plans! She discusses regaining a feeling of control and a sense of empowerment through the use and implementation of her planner (and all of the little gadgets and doohickeys that make planners so much fun! Or so I hear. Still not a convert tbh.) And additionally, we have a bit of a Q&A, wherein I encourage her to spill the beans on all of the incidentals and details and accompanying planner fripperies.


The late May sun was just starting to set in the west; another day in the deserts of Southern California was drawing to a close, exhausted by its own unending heat. The pinkish-gold glow of the sky made the brownish lumps of the San Bernardino Mountains (piles of god-shit, as I sometimes sourly observed) against that sky curdle and hulk in surly, resentful, passive existence.

At that moment, though, I could scarcely register the brilliant sunset or the hulking mountains; my eyes kept blurring with tears.

I was driving my colleague, Dustin, home from a work party. He kept glancing over at me in vague dismay–this snivelling, exhausted, melancholic woman in the driver’s seat was a hollow echo of the brash, boisterous colleague with whom he had become familiar. He knew I was experiencing a bout of depression, but he didn’t know the causes–such as my own failure to execute basic acts of self-care (LIKE TAKING MY ANTIDEPRESSANTS), the fact that, despite my knowledge of my husband’s repeated infidelities, I had just committed with him to a 30-year-mortgage on a house in a place that I hated more with every passing minute. I would grow old in that house, with that man, and life–if I could call this existence “life”– was simply happening to me, with neither my consent nor my dissent, nor any effort on my part to steer things. I was good and trapped–so I thought.

Like any man who has no profound emotional attachment to a person, Dustin simply wanted me to stop crying. He tried to cheer me up. “Do you have something nice to look forward to? You should make some plans. Everyone needs something to look forward to.”

I tried to pull myself together. I stopped snivelling (on the outside, at least), and carried on with my evening, but I had heard Dustin’s words, and I didn’t forget them in a hurry. Or ever.

Not long after that, I started to plan.

open book

My immersion into “the planning community” has been very gradual. In 2012, 2013, my forays into “the planner life” consisted mainly of weekly lists and goals, broken down into categories. But I was lacking a grasp of the big picture (who am I kidding? I still am), and I knew it wasn’t enough. I flitted about from one planner to another, not ever quite finding the right fit for me (I know now that “the right fit” has a name: “Planner Peace.” Go on, roll your eyes. I’ll wait.) But in early 2014, my Middle Sister directed me to The Life-Changing Magic of Erin Condren, and by extension, “The Planning Community.” What can I say about Erin Condren Life Planners? They aren’t everyone’s cuppa, but they are mine. They aren’t hideously expensive, but they aren’t cheap, either. These customizable planners have helped me organize my life (I currently juggle three jobs and try to have an active social life), direct my intentions, energies, and projects, and generally just help me stay on top of things. I like being busy and productive, I like setting goals, I like checking things off my lists, and if you think that I am the type of person that would schedule sex in my planner, well…I’m here to tell you, if I actually ever bothered to have sex, I absolutely would.)


Since using Erin Condren, I’ve noticed more and more that life is no longer something that happens to me. More and more, day by day, I happen to life. I’m not saying that joining “the planning community” got me to divorce my husband, find a new job (or 3) , move across country, and build a whole new existence–but I AM saying that these accomplishments of mine were a hell of a lot more easily achieved through maintaining a planner and a planned life.

Recently, I traveled down to Florida for my annual Thanksgiving jollifications with my sisters and their partners. From Orlando with Middle Sister to Daytona with Eldest I traveled, and it wasn’t until I was getting settled into the captain’s bed in Eldest’s office that I realized I had left my planner behind in Orlando.

Not long after, Eldest’s partner observed, not without amusement, “Your sister’s been without her planner for half an hour, and she’s a bit of a mess.” I had to chuckle; it was true. As soon as I realized I was without my planner, I promptly began making a to-do list for the next day on a piece of scratch paper. It wasn’t my planner, but it would have to do.


“It’s the ritual, I think, that you need as much as anything,” Eldest observed. And she’s right! On Sundays I light some candles, play some music, drink some wine, and plan my week ahead. In the mornings, I settle down with some coffee and contemplate what needs to be done in the hours ahead. It’s a ritual, a routine that helps me feel like I have agency in my own life. The sense of control is fictional, of course, but the planner in my hands, the intentions, the goals are very real, indeed. The Black Dogs of my depression and my anxiety–not discussed here, but no less potent for that–are longtime companions of mine, and I’ve found some ways to manage their less-than-cherished company.

Some folks laugh at me, I think, for trying to plan and stay on top of things, but I know now: planning is my way for me to perform self-care when I am anxious. It’s my way channel my energy and to try to give my struggling, sometimes sad life some intention and purpose. I invite you to find a way to incorporate planning into your life to achieve your own kind of comfort and care.



You mention Erin Condren planners–what makes them so great?
Well–and bear in mind, everyone is different in what they like and need in a planner–for me it’s that the EC planners have a certain amount of regimenting, and a certain amount of customization. (And space for lists–every week, every month, and at the back of the planner.) Each year, the designs change in response to what people ask for, and each year, they just keep getting better!. When I first started using EC planners, they were only vertical layouts, non-time-slotted, with chunks for morning-noon-and-night, Now you can get horizontal or vertical layouts, time-chunked or non-time-chunked, and you can decide how your days and priorities and projects are broken down and planned out. Furthermore, there is plenty of space and ways for folks to get all artsy-fartsy and shit.

Plan out you typical day for me!
Okay, so, I use the Erin Condren vertical layout planner, which is divided into three sections. I use the top section for my scheduled stuff, the middle section for my to-do list, and the bottom section for self-care/adulting stuff. So, here’s my Monday:

📖 7:30 AM Labwork at Clinic
📖 8:30-5 PM Work
📖 5-6:15 Run to campus, grab dinner
📖 6:30 Movie with Joelle
📖 8:30 Go home, do chores, putter, etc.

To Do:
📖 Pick up library books
📖 Renew professional membership
📖 Fold laundry
📖 15 minute clean
📖 Work on packing
📖 Text my friend Jo

📖 Take pills
📖 Journal
📖 Hail hydrate
📖 Continue Dryuary Project
📖 Cuddle Cats
(For the record: I am in the middle of moving, so pretty much all of my energies are focused on that, and not so much with anything beyond the very basics of self-care. Long-term goal: Get better about that.)

How do you differentiate or prioritize different kinds of plans? Need to do vs. want to do?
For me, to a greater or lesser extent, everything is a NEED to do! But I tend to categorize my plans and to-do lists and action items and routines: Work, Health, Home, Social Obligations, Correspondence, To Buy, To Read, General To-Do Errands, Project Steps, and then under each category, try to list stuff in order of descending importance.

What are some of the other planners currentpopular in the “planning community?” What are some “planner trends” right now?”
📖  BuJo (Bullet Journaling) was HUGE a year ago. (I tried BuJo, but it was too time-consuming.) This year, it’s Travelers Notebooks. Both of these are more customizable than your manufactured planners.
📖  Other planners that seem to have quite a devoted following are Passion Planners, Plum Paper Planners, and Kikki K Planners
PenGems, I’m told, are a thing, although I suspect that they could be more a flash in the pan.
📖 The planning world, much like the makeup world and the crafting world, is one that responds to the free market, as far as I am concerned. If there’s an interest in it, then by god, there are products to fulfill your interest!
📖 Planner Conventions

I know there’s some facebook pages (and probably LJ communities and reddit groups, etc.) dedicated to “the planner life”, what can you tell me about them and the communities built around them? How do you find them helpful?
📖 Again, it’s going to depend on what you need. Do you need inspiration for ways to plan out your ECLP (Vertical)? Do you need to be reassured that you are not the only one with 7+ planners? (You’re not.) Are you just going through some shit and need to reach out to someone? There are many, many different planner communities out there, but I would suggest for a general, and gentle, introduction, Planners with Manners would be a good starting point, and they can direct you to other, more specific groups.
📖 BohoBerry, a really fantastic lady who has a website/blog about creative goal setting and bullet journaling, has a tribe, which includes a facebook group; I’m actually really excited to look into this more. She also encourages a lot of journaling and self-reflection.
Lisa Marie Landreth, of Paper and Glam, designs her own planners and stickers, and runs a bit of a planning community and book club. She might be a bit feminine and conventional for many folks’ tastes, but I find her to be very earnest and sweet, and her “glam family” seems to grow every month.
“MAMBI” (Acronym for the brand name Me and My Big Ideas) produce “Happy Planners”, which I actually use as a bit of a scrapbook (there seems to be quite an intersection between the planning and papercrafting communities), and the Facebook Group Mambi The Happy Planner Divas focuses on that particular brand. And of course there’s always the We Love EC Facebook Group for the Erin Condren fans out there!

stickers and pens

I’ve peeked through your planner and have seen all kinds of wacky decorations–what’s that all about?
STICKERS, dude. It’s all about the stickers. There are so many different stickers that will help you theme and customize your planner, day, week, month, Gallifreyan regeneration cycles, whatevs.

Do you have any planner recommendations for readers of Unquiet Things? I think you know our aesthetic. I think you referred to it once as “dead people stuff.”
Cor blimey, that’s a tough one. Because I feel guilty about type-casting folks. I mean, here I am using those cutsie-pootsie stickers from Switzerland, but then I am listening to Dropkick Murphys and contemplating the feasibility of open relationships as I plan my month. So, folks can be a bit…eclectic in their tastes? But then again, I am a liberal librarian who rejected California for Indiana and says “dude” and I am also burning a Bath and Body Works candle and drinking some Starbucks coffee as I plan, so perhaps some tastes will out and folks are hard to pin down, so hey hey y’all, let’s make some assumptions…
ANYWAY. Customizing planners is one of the big things in “the planning community”, so I would say that Etsy shops that supply stickers, covers, and charms according to the aesthetics that I am PRESUMING y’all have, would be something I would recommend.
Naked Eye Studio on Etsy unfortunately only has a few items up for sale, but some of their stuff would be PERF.

Find more of my baby sister: blog // instagram


All Of The Cinema And Television That I Watched In 2017

Films 2017

This is really just an excuse to share with you the Google docs list that I have been updating for myself of all of the film and teevee that I’ve been feeding into my eyeballs over the past year. I tried, when I remembered to do so, to add the dates in for when I watched the individual things. Also, I am a terrible movie reviewer, so there isn’t much in the way of additional thoughts here, though I have put a * next to the ones I really enjoyed, and would recommend. (Though if you want to read mini reviews on anything I watched in October–and there was a lot!– go over to Haute Macabre and you’ll find it all there: Part 1 //  Part 2.)

P.S. If you read all the way to the end, you’ll see I have listed some upcoming movies that I am very excited for. What about you? Any favorites from this year? Anything you are looking forward to in 2018?



1/2 Gone Girl
1/3 The Girl On the Train
1/5 The Good Neighbor*
1/6 I Am Not A Serial Killer*
1/7 The Fearless Vampire Killers
1/9 Rusalochka*
1/10 Train to Busan*
1/12 The Skeleton Twins*
1/14 The Happening
1/15 Zootopia
1/15 Tangled
1/16 Goosebumps
1/26 Absentia



2/1 Trouble Every Day
2/2 Blair Witch
2/3 The Love Witch
2/4 Dracula (re-watch)
2/6 The Editor*
2/7 The Village
2/10 VHS
2/26 Get Out*



3/5 Ouija: Origin of Evil
3/9 Don’t Breathe
3/20 Salome’s Last Dance
3/23 Song of the Sea*
3/28 Prevenge*



4/1 Resident Evil: The Final Chapter
4/1 Rogue One
4/2 Ghost In The Shell
4/3 Moana
4/8-4/11 Taboo*
4/15-4/16 Steven Universe*
4/16 The Void
4/26 Fortitude*



5/19 Kimmy Schmidt
5/21 The Black Coat’s Daughter
5/22 The Girl With All The Gifts
5/23 American Gods
5/? Samurai Gourmet*
5/? Midnight Diner: Tokyo Stories*
5/? Jordskott*



6/3 Wonder Woman*
6/8 Phantasm III
6/17 Star Trek
6/22 Raw
6/24 Frankenhooker*
6/? Riverdale*
6/29 A Dark Song
6/30 The Belko Experiment



7/1 From A House On Willow St
7/3 What We Do In The Shadows (rewatch)
7/4 Kong Skull Island
7/5 Attack On Titan Season 2
7/6 Lake Bodom
7/17 Split
7/20 Logan
7/22 Martin*
7/23 Creepshow
7/26 Dawn of the Dead*
7/29 Zeder*



8/3 The Lure*
8/6 The Killing
8/13 The Fall
8/24 Broadchurch*



9/9 10 Cloverfield Lane
9/10 Lavender
9/16 Lord of the Rings trilogy (again)
9/23 mother!
9/25 Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind (rewatch)
9/30 Body



10/1 Shelley
10/2 The Transfiguration
10/3 The Haunting of Julia*
10/4 High Tension
10/5 Dark Signal
10/6 Jacob’s Ladder
10/7 Pet Sematary
10/8 The Asphyx & Last Shift
10/9 The Whip and the Body
10/10 I Am A Ghost
10/11 White Zombie
10/12 Under The Shadow
10/13 Dragula Ep 1&2
10/14 P
10/15 Devil’s Backbone*
10/16 Devil’s Backbone (it took me two days to watch this)
10/17 Shiki, Corpse Party, When They Cry
10/18 The Vampire Lovers
10/19 Blood And Roses
10/20 Slumber Party Massacre
10/21 Kill Baby Kill
10/22 Maximum Overdrive
10/23 John Dies At The End
10/24 Le Manoir du Diable
10/25 The Devil’s Candy
10/26 Audrey Rose
10/27 American Horror Story: Cult
10/28 Shivers
10/29 Repulsion
10/30 Channel Zero: Candle Cove
10/31 Stranger Things



11/12 Scream Queens
11/20 Exorcist



12/2 Broadchurch
12/5 Exorcist*
12/7 Vikings
12/14 Thor: Ragnarok*
12/16 Howl’s Moving Castle (rewatch)
12/17 Dark*
12/24 Star Wars: The Last Jedi


Looking forward to:

The Lodgers
A Wrinkle In Time
It: Chapter Two (still haven’t seen Chapter One, oops.)
The House with a Clock in its Walls

A Mystery, Solved: Maria Germanova Comes Home


Today I am a little bit weepy. Folks who have been internet-friends with me for a long time may recognize this glamorous dame, whose eerie, enigmatic visage was a substitute avatar for my own face for many years, in many online haunts, because I was too timid to use my own.

I first found the image on Netflix, in 2006. A thumbnail sized mystery upon which I immediately fixated, deeply fascinated. I sought its source for years and had almost given up, when, in 2009 I found her in the @nypl digital archives and discovered her name: Maria Germanova, of the Moscow Art Theatre. This fantastical image is from The Blue Bird, (L’Oiseau bleu ), a 1908 play by Maurice Maeterlinck, in which she portrayed (what I can only assume) is Russia’s most outrageously gorgeous witch. You can read about my discovery over on ye olde tumblr.

When I learned that I could buy a print of my beloved sorceress, I was over the moon, my heart was glad to bursting! But then, friends, at the height of my raptures, tragedy struck, when I realized that I could no longer find her on the website. A melancholy madness took hold. Or, if we’re reigning in the melodrama a bit, I got a case of the mopes for several months. Just last week, though, Jess at bloodmilk came to the rescue and found her for me again (thank you!) and I placed an order for an archival print right away. I wasn’t going to let her get away this time! And now, here she is, and we shall never be parted. Stately and dignified with a bunch of books on top of her. Just like I treat all of my loved ones.

1 2 3 4 5 54