My guest post on La Castiglione is up over at Haute Macabre today!

DRAMA QUEEN & CULTIST OF PERSONAL BEAUTY:
VIRGINIA OLDOINI, COUNTESS OF CASTIGLIONE

And because I am nutty and can’t write about someone without wanting to dress them up myself (or even play dress up AS them) here are two interpretations of some modern day Countess of Castiglione ensembles!

Queen of Hearts


Beauty Cultist

 

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Reading:

 

Watching:

  • Sense8; actually this is just about the only thing I am watching right now.  A slow surreal sci-fi dip into “dreamy conspiracies and chimerical fellowship”, and is apparently lauded by critics as both a masterpiece and a disaster. All I can tell you is that this show makes me feel all of the feels. Which is pretty uncomfortable for me, I don’t mind telling you. And I love it.

 

Listening:

  • Ghost, Meliora. I have been listening to this non-stop for the past month. And I will be seeing them again live next month!  I didn’t know if I was on board with this new album, but it’s pretty amazing…super catchy in a kind of syrupy, tricksy way, and this Dirge review really sums up my thoughts quite well.
  • Lana Del Rey, Honeymoon. Shut up. Whatever you are going to say, I don’t want to hear it. This album is sad and fucked up in an epic way. It is Lana gone full-Lana.

 

Smelling:

Knitting:

  • The Bitterroot Shawl, from knitty 2007 or something like that.  This is the third time I have knit this pattern, and I still love it.  I actually even added the beads on it this time, and despite that, and the fiddliness of the stupid yarn (warning: do not use knitpick’s Diadem for lace projects), I started and finished this in nine days. It will soon be off to its new home!
  • Next up: hats and scarves and wristwarmers – I’m actually getting started early on the holiday gifts this year!

Other than the above, (and the full time job which I never talk about because who wants to hear about that? Ugh) I have been busy with grandmother duty, a bit of writing and the odd guest blog here and there, the struggle with wellness and mental health, and getting ready for our trip to Portland next week. After that, there are lots of exciting things coming up in the next few months- the Ghost show, the Necromancy Art show at Gods & Monsters, Bat Boy the Musical, and Death Cafe Orlando! Though now that I see it typed out like that…it all looks rather exhausting.  And stressful.  Hm.

How is your fall shaping up? What have you been into lately and what looms on the horizon for you?  I want to hear all about it!

 

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A few weekends ago, while visiting my sister and brother in law, I stumbled across an image on a friend’s instagram account, for which she commented that she was unsure as to who the photographer was, or what the photo was all about.  While doing some hunting and pecking around on my brother in law’s computer, he peeked over my shoulder and remarked that the image resembled something by Prokudin-Gorskii.  (It wasn’t; some helpful hints from other friends and some further searching revealed it is a video still from an upcoming video from the psych-folk band LUST).

“Prokudin-Gorskii?” I queried. And down the rabbit hole we went!

(The following infos have been cobbled together from wikipedia and the Library of Congress)

Sergey Mikhaylovich Prokudin-Gorsky, a Russian chemist and photographer best known for his pioneering work in color photography of early 20th-century Russia, devoted his career to the advancement of photography.

He studied with renowned scientists in St. Petersburg, Berlin, and Paris and his own original research yielded patents for producing color film slides and for projecting color motion pictures. Using emerging technological advances in color photography, he made numerous photographic trips to systematically document the Russian Empire. He conducted most of his visual surveys between 1909 and 1915, although some of his work dates as early as 1905. The Empire at this time stretched 7,000 miles from west to east and 3,000 miles from north to south and comprised one-sixth of the earth’s land mass. It was the largest empire in history and spanned what today are eleven different times zones.

Tsar Nicholas II supported this ambitious project by providing passes and transportation: by rail, boat and automobile. Each journey made by Prokudin-Gorskii is represented by a photographic album and corresponding negatives.

Around 1907, Prokudin-Gorskii envisioned and formulated a plan to use the emerging technological advancements that had been made in color photography to systematically document the Russian Empire. Through such an ambitious project he intended to educate the school children of Russia with his “optical color projections” of the vast and diverse history, culture, and modernization of the Empire. Outfitted with a specially equipped railroad car-darkroom provided by Tsar Nicholas II, and in possession of two permits that granted him cooperation from the Empire’s bureaucracy and access to restricted areas, Prokudin-Gorskii documented the Russian Empire from 1909 through 1915. He conducted many illustrated lectures of his work. His assistants are sometimes credited on prints seen in other collections.

His photographs offer a vivid portrait of a lost world—the Russian Empire on the eve of World War I and the coming Russian Revolution. His subjects ranged from the medieval churches and monasteries of old Russia, to the railroads and factories of an emerging industrial power, to the daily life and work of Russia’s diverse population.

It has been estimated from Prokudin-Gorsky’s personal inventory that before leaving Russia, he had about 3500 negatives.  Upon leaving the country and exporting all his photographic material, about half of the photos were confiscated by Russian authorities for containing material that seemed to be strategically sensitive for war-time Russia. According to Prokudin-Gorsky’s notes, the photos left behind were not of interest to the general public. Some of Prokudin-Gorsky’s negatives were given away and some he hid on his departure. Outside the Library of Congress collection, none has yet been found.

 

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A hodge-podge of stuff and things, gathered willy-nilly for your perusal…

Mary vd Reyden creates the most wonderful embroidered animals and insects

 

I love instagram user mitsunavinilos’ languid ladies.  And those eyelashes!

 

DirgeMag’s best picks for satanic cat shirts.  Required covengang attire.

 

Pollyanne Hornbeck’s Haunted Dollhouse

 

Yes! My dream of dark drone yoga is finally happening!

 

Unless you’ve been under a rock for the past day or so, you have surely seen this wonderfully creepy trailer. Very much looking forward to The Witch.

Great moments in historical sluttery, courtesy the inimitable Tenebrous Kate.

Totally correct Frankenstein quotes.

How to tell if you are in an Edward Gorey Book

How To tea party like a Victorian

5 of the creepiest monsters in fantasy

Obscure and outrageous VHS cover art

Live Nude Ghouls (my new favorite webcomic) )**NSFW**

Stream Ghost’s new album, Meliora

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Cannibalism and Other Nightmarish Things: Sleeping Beauty

 


The Apocalypse that Shrunk South London (h/t Ian)

 

STOYA + ANA X COMTE at creem mag

 

Gorgeous editorial in May 2015 Vogue Italia by Ellen Von Unwerth, ostensibly inspired by ‘Picnic at Hanging Rock’.

 

Thresher, a short film directed by Mike Diva (for fans of Clive Barker and H.P. Lovecraft!)

Weird Horror Master Thomas Ligotti’s Review of the Hotdog Pizza from Pizza Hut (a must read for fans of weird fiction!)

 Io9’s list of the year’s best short-form speculative literature (so far).

Black Women Vampires in Film over at the Graveyardshift Sisters

What’s Your Look? at rookiemag.  Adorable! “Björk’s sad assistant” and “rabbit-filled sack.”

Super creepy horror game hidden in the darkest corners of the internet

AND…for your ears…!

 

 

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17 Jun
2015

Lady Sei Shonagon, woodblock print by Kobayashi Kiyochika, 1896
Lady Sei Shonagon, woodblock print by Kobayashi Kiyochika, 1896

A list of pleasing things.

Not unlike those penned by Sei Shōnagon, a lady-in-waiting to the Empress of Japan during the Heian period, whose swoon-worth pillow book of lists and stories and observations is a thing of rare beauty and a fascinating glimpse into another human being’s life.

“Elegant Things” by Sei Shōnagon
A white coat worn over a violet waistcoat.
Duck eggs.
Shaved ice with liana syrup and put in a new silver bowl.
A rosary of rock crystal.
Snow on wisteria or plum blossoms.
A pretty child eating strawberries.

Though I suppose mine, below, is not quite exactly like hers, either.
To be honest, I guess it’s really just a list.

jewels

Treasures from supernatural surrealist and dream-haunter JL Schnabel of Bloodmilk. Pictured here are the Endless Night stacking rings I & II and The Wounding necklace, an item I for which I have longed for quite some time now; a talisman for piercing the darkness.

 

 

cocktails

The simplest of summer cocktails for still, sweltering evenings.  Vodka + a generous squirt of lime + elderflower rose lemonade.  Lots of ice.  Repeat as needed.

Both my paramour and I are big kids at heart, and after seeing this LEGO bird set built over on tested.com, I thought it would make for a fun birthday present for him and a nice afternoon together. And it was!  And at the end of our play, we had something really cool to put on the shelf!

bag

yves

A new handbag for all my stuff!  What, you don’t carry around candlesticks and tiki mugs on a daily basis? Well, to each his own, I guess.  This is the “big slouchy messenger bag” from Baba Studio and it is practically perfect.  I loved my old Betsey Johnson number with the fancy skulls, but it was getting pretty grungy.

New art! A strange and terrible beauty,  a gift by and from dark artist and sculptor EC Steiner, and a lovely Bat-Fleurs,  a gift to myself, from artist Colette St Yves

Poor Sei Shōnagon is probably rolling over in her grave at this point.  She had some fairly bitter and scathing things to say about silly or unfashionable people and I doubt she’d spare me! Or, who knows -maybe she would recognize a kindred spirit in me, she’d pour me a cup of tea and we’d while away the time gossiping about people and talking about all the cool stuff we have.

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A small list of amusements and delights and wonders from around the internet over the past few weeks.

How To Grow A Black Garden over at The Live Box Magazine.

 


Future travels include transporting myself into every one of Didier Massard’s photographs.

 

Garth Marenghi’s Dark Place is now on Hulu!  I heard about this weirdness a few months back and never bothered to look into it, but now it’s just too easy.

 

Ukraine-based designer Anna Mo creates super chunky cozy knit blankets, hats, scarves and other accessories that you can find in her Etsy shop called Ohhio. Each piece is handmade using 100% Australian merino wool. Beautiful!

An interview with one of my favorite artists and talented friend, Carisa Swenson over at Rooms Magazine, about her work and process.

 

Dream-land (ca. 1883), an etching by S.J. Ferris after a painting by C.D. Weldon

The Art of Dreams, via The Public Domain Review

 

tee

I’m a little bit addicted to this tee shirt app https://yoshirt.com/

Here’s to giving up, by Alice Lee “Here’s to celebrating the work that was done instead of constantly worrying about what is to come. I am really bad at that and I would like to get better, if only because thinking the things you spend your life working on lose value ten minutes after they are released is also no way to live.” <—Amen to that!

In Praise of Darkness: Henry Beston on How the Beauty of Night Nourishes the Human Spirit, over at Brain Pickings.

How To Be A Lady In The Streets And A Haunted Clock Tower In The Sheets
“Your bed is nothing if it’s not buzzing with high-pitched screeches that seem to be coming from NOWHERE … yet also from EVERYWHERE. Bonus points if you can open up a mysterious time portal and get some screams from the past in there, too! SpOoOoOoky!” (h/t to Jack, Jennifer, my beardo and everyone else to shared this with me!)

My favorite thing right now is Nihilist Arbys on twitter

Purify Your System With The Seven Day Chili Dog Cleanse over at McSweeney’s

 

 

 

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US Map of Horror Movies: Around 250 horror movies (and horror themed thrillers) for 50 States plus Washington D.C

 

Do you know your tikbalangs from your duwendes? Says Mikey Bustos ““We Filipinos have some really crazy mythical beings. Imagine they were all rap stars!” I have seriously watched this video, like 20 times in the past 12 hours.  It’s fantastic.
(h/t Madeleine Spencer)

 

From Chanel to Valentino, a First Look at the Dresses in the Met’s “China: Through the Looking Glass”

 

Though I stumbled across Evi Vine only today, I am fairly certain just from this stunning teaser-trailer alone, that debut album, Give Your Heart To The Hawks, is going to quickly become a favorite.

 

This Sunday, April 26 2015, be certain to head out to Brooklyn Zine Fest from 11am to 6pm at the Brooklyn Historical Society and visit the Heretical Sexts booth, manned by brilliant mastermind, Tenebrous Kate. Copies of all HS zines plus buttons, stickers, and exclusive mini zines will be available! Also -debuting at the fest is the Witch Women zine, in which I am honored to have been a contributor.  (Images via Kate’s instagram)

How to be polite. An extremely worthwhile read. This piece really resonated with me, on so many levels. I have felt this way since always. (h/t Amit)

The soundtrack that made Twin Peaks. I was just trying to explain to someone yesterday that while I love the music for this show, the main theme in the opening credits literally, *literally* made me want to puke.  It was such a visceral reaction.  I love the rest of the music in the show, and I appreciate the different character’s themes, but there’s just something about the track for the opening credits that plucks uneasily at my guts. I can’t even describe it without sounding like a dummy, but it hits me right in the dummy feels, I think. Not something I can articulate on a higher-brain level. It’s like…bland, benign…yet blighted (?) hold music. And you’re on hold forever. It speaks to some fear I have of waiting forever for the other shoe to drop. The big, doom-filled shoe in the sky that you can’t even see but somehow you know it’s there and it’s a cloudless, sunny day…and you are just waiting…waiting…waiting…to be stomped into oblivion. (h/t Drax)

A role playing game about ghosts, in just 150 words.  You and your friends play spirits of the dead, each with something holding you back from crossing over. With a brief, structured question and answer set and a single die, you discover and resolve your unfinished business. That’s it. (h/t John H.)

Helpful Spring Cleaning Advice From Gothic Novelist Shirley Jackson
“You may not know why you do it, but it must be done for it has always been done and so it will always be done. Never question the cleaning, just give in to the gentle sweep of the brush and the delicate glug of the bleach slipping down your throat.”
(h/t Sarah )

Trash Twins Podcast: Italians Do It Better, part 2. Sarah Horrocks and Katy Skelly talk Milo Manara and Guido Crepax.

20 THINGS TO WRITE ABOUT WHEN YOU’RE TOTALLY STUCK. There’s actually some decent ideas here, or at least some good jumping-off points.

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royalty

The Royal Dress-Maker game by sarriathmoonghost is inspired by old dressup stickers and paperdolls and features influences from historical clothing during the Medieval, Renaissance, Rococo and Victorian era. It is too much addictive fun. My creation (above) is just one of many that I spent an obscene amount of time playing around with.

 

Texts From Your Existentialist is my new favorite Instagram account

 

The 20 Best Small Towns to Visit in 2015, by Bess Lovejoy over at the smithsonian.com, featuring haunting hotels, whaling museums, burial grounds and crystal caves seems like the perfect guide for a summer roadtrip.

 

Have you ever wondered what the play poster for Hellraiser would have looked in Victorian times? Ari Pramagioulis certainly has and his vision is really quite wonderful.

 

This Sailor Moon tarot by Deviant Art user sillabub429 is so perfect and spot on.  How I wish it were a real thing!

The Joan of Arc Museum Opens in France

The “incatatory”, “incendiary” poetry of Janaka Stucky, featured over at phantasmaphile

Dario Argento’s Suspiria to be developed into a television show?

Honey from a Dark Hive has the most exquisite screen captures from some beautifully intriguing films.  I basically have my “to watch” list for the next year.

Never enough photos of star trails.

Ethereal, diaphanous….pleats? Strangely, this works for me. Michael Lo Sordo – Runway – Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Australia 2015

Oof.  Heartbreaking and informative. PTSD: The Wound That Never Heals (h/t theremina)

Jamie Dee over at WolfNWhisky has some fantastic Record Store Day Tips for us!

 

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

 

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

 

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

 

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

 


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

 

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

 


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

A Poem Composed Entirely of SXSW Panel Titles

Slutist’s Feminist Festival Is Going To Be Amazing

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

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

5 Graves That Were Lost, Then Found

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

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

 

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