October has been busy with weekends trips to the pumpkin patch, batches of cinnamon & cardamom flecked and cranberry-studded pumpkin bread, early evening ghost-tours that turned into late night drag shows, trips to a spiritualist community/psychic camp (with “an energy vortex” located beneath a pretty but rather mundane gazebo), cemeteries and devil’s chairs, mimosas and margaritas and a night spent out with starkly painted face, cloaked in night and totally blind because I could not wear my glasses in that particular guise.
It is difficult to believe that November is nearing. I sat on the screened porch this evening with a book and shivered as a slight breeze eddied round my ankles. I laughed at myself, just a little, when I remembered a mention earlier in the day of snowstorms already in New Jersey. I then put on a pair of old hand-knit socks because regardless of where the snow was on the ground, I was still chilly.
When I was a very little girl, I can recall that my dearest wish was to own a treasure chest overflowing with glowing pearls and shimmering gems and all manner of rare, sparkling baubles. This was a constant longing which I probably spent an unhealthy amount of time fixating upon and daydreaming about. I imagine I must have picked up the idea of this red-velvet-lined box spilling forth a bounty of jewels from story book tales, as I had actually never seen such a thing. But I was certain it existed somewhere, and I was determined to have one myself. Ah, aspirations! Photo of an early 20th-century advertising card for Le Bon Marche, Paris. The cards feature stories from “des Mille et une Nuits,” or “1001 Nights.”
Of course, now that I am older my tastes in adornments have changed somewhat (egg shaped diamond rings just don’t seem as practical as they did when I was 6) but I still carry with me that yearning for treasures and trinkets …and yes, I suppose I still wouldn’t mind having a huge pile of them. For now though, I hang them from pins at eye level so I can admire them easily from across the room.
Currently the wish-list for adding to the collection is a mile long, but here are some highlights. Skulls, claws, eyes, raw crystals, esoteric symbolism seem to be the order of the day; I don’t think my younger self would have been very approving. Actually, she might have been horrified! After all, we are talking about a little girl who was afraid of her cousin’s KISS poster (with the band in full makeup). Also she had to sometimes hide her face behind a pillow when the monsters on Scooby-Doo were too scary!
the oracle. part ii. magnifying glass and starling claw necklace.
• the oracle part ii. magnifying glass & starling claw necklace from bloodmilk
“this necklace is a marriage of claw and glass. cast immortal in sterling silver and oxidized to varying shades of gloomy gray, a life cast starling claw grips a small, framed piece of magnifying glass.”
“An eye is all seeing and can be very powerful. It has been used through out the ages for protection against evil, or as a way to obtain spiritual knowledge of occult mysteries. This ring was hand carved and cast in sterling silver, to enhance its sacred powers.”
“The stars are the apexes of what wonderful triangles !” – Henry David Thoreau My “Anti-Triangle Cult” necklaces are made of glass and silver metal. Just like my first version “the Order of the Triangle” (see last pic) they can be opened and used as a locket, to display a piece of lace, a lock of hair, a feather …They are hung on a long black cotton cord.”
I have always tried to make a point to surround myself with beautiful things.
If they are pieces of art created by passionate peers and visionary friends, all the better! My goal has been to fill an entire room with the various paintings and illustrations and mixed-media art I have collected over the years; so far I am at one wall and a half. Though I do have a few more that need framing, I will hold off on that until I have relocated. It hardly makes sense to rearrange everything to accommodate a few more prints when I am only going to be here for two months.
My personal aesthetic is forever in flux, but there are certain kinds of imagery that will always catch my eye and call to me: dark dreams, hidden things & secrets & esoteric knowledge, haunted places, shades & shadows, the supernatural & the surreal, magics macabre and melancholy, and the grotesque transfigured into things of incomparable loveliness.
I currently have a few things that need framing, and honestly I find that whole process incredibly tedious. I never know what size frame to get (and I usually have the chop the print up to fit – artists please don’t read that! I am so ashamed). But worse than that, I have a terrible time in general matching the pieces of art with a suitable, yet inexpensive frame! Any tips? These are the three I am working with now:
“Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlotte”, by Mon Petit Fantome
“Three Seekers Dreaming”, by swanbones
Family Portrait by Caryn Drexl
I have been collecting ideas for futures spaces on my walls, as well. Here is a small selection from my feverish wish-list. With what wonderful arts do you adorn your abode? Tell me all!
“some ghosts are women II” by Kristamas Klousch
“Pink Twin Rainbow”, Camilla d’Errico
“Runa” by Ellen Rogers photography
“The Bride” by Charmaine Olivia
“Duncan Takes a Break” by KipHolmPhotography
Where to find the artists mentioned within this post:
I can’t believe that it has been over a year since I lost my poor little Inkers. At that time I started knitting a shawl to help me through my grief; I thought a memento, something beautiful and tangible to remind me of her would be a nice thing to have, and the end result can be seen below. Afterward, I sent it to a lady friend on the other side of the country. It was the soothing, intimate process that I needed, that helped me focus on a task instead of dwelling on a loss. Once finished, though it was an item I was quite proud of, I found I didn’t need it at all.
Pattern is “Bitterroot” by Rosemary Hill from Knittyspin Winter 2009. Started May 28th. In loving memory of Inkers. 1999-May 28th, 2010.
There are certain things I will truly miss about New Jersey when I am back in my alternately scorching and sweltering home state. Cool, hidden pockets of summer greenery in this neck of the woods, for one. Leaves so thick on the branches that the light does not pass through. Ivy coiled loosely around a neighbor’s lamplight. Vines knotted and tangled and trailing down a rotted wooden fence. Grass cuttings strewn across the sidewalk on a Saturday morning after everyone has gotten up early to mow their lawns. There is so much green it makes my heart hurt a little and my eyes burn a bit, in the very best sort of way.
And the flowers, oh the flowers. They are beautiful blooming breakers of hearts as well.
Coffret de médecine sounds much more romantic, less utilitarian than plain old “medicine cabinet”, don’t you think? I was inspired to clean out all the glunky and gross products that had been sitting around for much too long when I read verhext’s “coming up roses” post a few months back. Well. While I was inspired in March, it’s taken me until July to do anything about it! Better late than never, I always say.
I myself have not yet reached the point where I am ready to switch to all-natural products, though there are quite a few I have been using for a while now: the arnica gel & aloe vera for bruises, soreness, aches and burns; melatonin and Bach remedies for sleep and anxiety, and tea tree, rosehip seed and jojoba oils for a skin regimen. I suppose I should look into replacing the other items but for now they work and I’ve always belonged to the “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it” camp. One thing I am particularly keen to find is a nice tinted moisturizer that’s not full of awful things. I had been using a version from Laura Mercier that worked nicely , but $42 for such a small tube didn’t seem like the wisest investment. I then stumbled across the Sonia Kashuk version that I liked even more and it’s a third of the price. It’s really quite perfect (except for the ingredients), but I am certainly open to suggestions – so if you’ve got any, please send them my way!
Next I need to find a better organizational system for the rest of my cosmetics and face paint. Coffee mugs and sake cups perched precariously on the back of the commode are not an ideal system!
After that I will move on to tackling the smelly portion of things. I don’t even know where to begin with this! I’ve got perfume samples scattered willy-nilly all over the place; hidden in nooks and crannies and underfoot and sometimes they even turn up in pockets or marking pages in books! This will not do, of course.
Unfortunately, organization is not something that interests me in the least. I am not someone who gets excited about lists, or calendars or even watches. I am pretty sure I would literally die of boredom in The Container Store. This is going to be A Long, Drawn Out Production, I am sure of it.
I obviously need some painless organizational tips and tricks. What have you got? Feel free to show me your own cabinets and cupboards – trust me, there is no one nosier than me…I am always intensely interested in other people’s stuff!
I am neither a huge fan or coconut, nor ice cream. Apparently it’s pretty weird not to be a an ice cream fanatic, but such is my lot in life, I suppose.
On a 100°+ day in July, however when the AC is scarcely cooling a small darkened corner of the house, something well-iced and creamy and perhaps eaten standing right in front of the opened freezer door does not sound like such a bad idea.
I picked up a small Krups ice cream maker on a whim a few years back when I had made it a daily habit to read food blogs. During that point in time quite a few frivolous kitchen gadgets found their way into my cupboards and though some of them might have been rather esoteric and rarely see the light of day, I will staunchly defend herr Krups, as I have gotten some excellent use out of the little fellow.
That first year we had several lemon sorbets and a dark chocolate chip and fresh mint ice cream; the next year even more lemon ices and vanilla custard ice cream and a wonderful dulce de leche ice cream. I don’t think I used it at all, last year, but this afternoon seemed like a good time to dust it off, survey the ingredients at hand, and give it another whirl.
This is a very loose recipe, the measurements were mostly eye-balled. This is also dairy-free, but I suppose one could use heavy cream if one were feeling particularly decadent. I myself was feeling frugal, and almond milk was what I had on hand.
1 can of coconut milk,
4 limes, juiced and zested
1/2 -3/4 cup almond milk
1/2 cup vanilla sugar (any sweetener will, even agave or similar)
pinch cardamom (I should have used more)
Heat the almond milk and sugar in a saucepan until sugar is melted. Cool. In a blender, whiz together coconut milk, lime juice, almond milk-sugar mixture, most of lime zest (reserve some for garnish) and cardamon.
Once blended, cover and place in a refrigerator for an hour or so, until thoroughly chilled. Freeze mixture in an ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. Serve softly frozen, or transfer ice cream to an airtight container and freeze until firm, at least 6 hours or up to 1 week.
I don’t find this to be very coconut-y, which is just as well for my tastes, but certainly shredded coconut or coconut powder could be added for more coconut flavor. Were I to make this again, I would definitely add more cardamom and maybe steep a piece of fresh ginger in the sugar mixture but discard it before blending.
A gift of an esoteric, secret lady language from Miss Lau… Did you know that twirling your fan in the left hand indicates “I wish to be rid of you”? No? Well, this is useful information to have on hand! Thanks for the package, Miss Lau…I love everything!