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Thursday, 28 November 2013

November Blog Round Up

Hello, all - it's time for the monthly blog round up! I missed this last month because of how busy the end of the month was, but I'm up and ready for this one.

  • A Thrifty Mrs wrote about how to set a Christmas budget - ever more important in the current recession (and especially for students like me) - and points out things most people wouldn't even consider including in their budget.
  • Sary Walrus at The Walrus Room collated useful advice for goths from comments (including one from myself), which is useful to both new and old goths.
  • My favourite blogger Halloween costume was probably Coffin Kitsch's Steampunk Punk - it reminds me a little of that punk Victorian Sherlock Holmes adaptation (fyi: coolest thing ever).
  •  On a more fashion academic point, the application of the uncanny valley hypothesis was used in dissecting alternative fashion and trends at The Mutant Stomp Friends. I find this really interesting, as it analyses the heart and theory of fashion in a way that we often don't consider.
  • Also from The Mutant Stomp Friends, 1666 x 30 also listed her favourite tumblrs - I usually hate inspiration posts and things like this, but I love some of the ones she's included; Polyvore Gore is an old favourite, but I'm still going through the archives of some of the others.

There were also lots of interesting fashion posts too, but I've been feeling the need to mix it up recently and try new blogs (still looking). Anyway, that's all for this month - see you when the tinsel is out and robins are wearing santa hats.


Tuesday, 26 November 2013

The Cooler: Jazz and Victory Rolls

As I've previously mentioned, I'm completely enamoured with the 1920s right now. They weren't the decade I was initially drawn to when I started experimenting with vintage fashion (more so the popular forties and fifties looks), but after seriously looking into them and giving them a go I really want more Jazz Age class in my life and wardrobe.

However, a return to later years was in order, as my university's union hosted its twice yearly big band jazz event, the Cooler. This was a lot less packed than the Great Gatsby night, with more of a focus of sitting and appreciating the live music, but as ever my swing society teamed up with Big Band to steal the floor and practice our dancing. And, of course, I didn't miss an opportunity to dress up.

I love this photo. I'm dressed as though I should be planning WI meetings, and my faux fringe is all over the place, but I was having the time of my life. I've been preferring blues dancing to swing recently for its simplicity, but when I actually manage to stop fretting about how crap I am and how few moves I know it's magic. Ben was wearing all red (because why not?), and his new cravat I got him for his birthday - in a day time knot, scandalously.

My dress got a lot of compliments - people are so sweet! - and it was fabulous when I was spun (though not for Charleston - petticoats are never a good idea with Charleston, which certainly lines up with the flapper aesthetic), but other than victory rolls, which I hate doing, it was a very low effort outfit - which is actually the philosophy I want to apply to my wardrobe. Although it was fun dressing up and standing out, it was forgotten when the dancing started, and I want to come to a place where I can look good in what I'm wearing but also forget about it when I'm having fun. Maybe that's wanting to have my cake and eat it too, but whilst I love standing out, I've had times where I've overly fretful about fashion and overthink it, and end up not enjoying myself partly as a result of it. And cake is delicious, so I might as well eat it.


Sunday, 24 November 2013

Dundee Western Cemetery

One of my regrets about my first year about university was not living at the West Park halls. Not for any serious reason - I adore my flatmates, and in a lot of ways it was far easier living close to the city centre, but one thing always made me long for the off campus accommodation; the cemetery.

View from the back of the cemetery.

Yup, punching my goth card here - I adore cemeteries. I spent a good chunk of my childhood wandering around old graveyards, and it's a practice I continue to this day. Dundee Western Cemetery is right next to West Park Halls and Conference Centre on Perth Road, and I spent a fair amount of time this year wandering about it (indeed, I even studied in there). There's lots of other smaller cemeteries in my part of Dundee I visited once or twice - Balgay Cemetery is a probably larger cemetery also on my route back from Ninewells, but it mainly seems to be newer graves, and the older styles of the Western keep drawing me back.

The cemetery has a war graves section (from memory I think it's mainly Falklands deaths?), and - something I didn't know until I did some research - has two interesting historical figures; James Bowman Lindsay (1799-1862), one of the early experimenters with electricity - he pioneered a 'constant electric light' 40 years before Edison's light bulb! - and Preston Watson (1880-1915), who some claim to have made the first powered flight over the Carse of Gowrie before the Wright Brothers.

It was a glorious day when I first took these photos, and the cemetery is really stunning - makes me wonder, as full as my schedule is, if they're looking for volunteer groundskeeping.

This is just a few photos from my first visit - I plan on going around the grounds documenting the elaborate graves (I didn't take any photos of the large tombs for wealthy Dundonians, stupidly, as gorgeous as they were), and think I might actually visit all the cemeteries in Dundee properly; these were taken on my iPhone, which coped surprisingly well due to the good afternoon light.

Until then!


Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Review: Body Jewellery Shop

Today, readers, we have something new; the first review of this blog.

I was emailed during August asking if I would be interested in reviewing some products from Body Jewellery Shop, and after browsing their online store I was very keen. The range of products for different piercings is impressive, as is the range of materials and information on piercings - indeed, they have lots of guidance on what you should be considering when choosing a piercer, aftercare and even videos of some piercings being done. 

Disclaimer: I was contacted by a representative of body jewellery shop to carry out this review; I was given £20 worth of jewellery for free, but was not otherwise paid or reimbursed. All opinions are 100% my own, based on feedback given by my testers.  
Review after the jump!

Friday, 15 November 2013

Outfit Post: Welcome to Night Vale, with a bit of new/old Goth

Man, I have been wearing a lot of purple lipstick recently. I absolutely love the stuff I got from Model's Own; it's not very long wearing, but the colour. A bit of lip seal, and I'm ready to go.

Blargh, I hate flash. Apologies for the messy room - I was partway through cleaning out my craft supplies.
I really wanted to try it out with a fedora and my blazer, and paired it with my (equally new) spiked collar, docs, polka dot tights and my faithful black dress, which is now falling apart. The result came out looking like a mix of nu-goth with elements of eighties, and a friend described it as 'a gothed up Molly Ringwald'. Ideally, I'd have liked to have worn it with crimped hair, but I had neither the time nor the crimping irons necessary.

Logo by Rob Wilson. Source.

It was also a little inspired by my summer obsession, Welcome to Night Vale - a bi-monthly podcast posing as a spoof radio show from a surreal and mysterious desert town in America, where strange hooded figures gather in the local dog park as PTA meetings open rifts in time and space, glow clouds telepathically control newsreaders and scientists have perfect hair. I started listening to it in July; it's completely hilarious and no trigger warnings apply, so I definitely recommend it to one and all. It can be found on iTunes, feedburner and podbay.


Friday, 8 November 2013

So I've been busy...

[This is more of an update for why I've been AWOL, rather than an in depth discussion of my situation, but for the sake of anyone who it may apply toTW: discussion of mental health.)

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Happy (belated) Halloween!

Happy Halloween, everyone! I'm a bit late on the Halloween blogging front, but it's been a very busy few days; along with Samhain itself, I had a party the night before, and preparations for Ben's birthday (speaking of which, happy birthday Ben!), and everything was very last minute because it's me. Anyway, on to the costumes -

It was a very sober night, not being a heavy drinker, though the awful cheap cider I'm holding would lead you to believe otherwise.

I ended up going as the Bride of Frankenstein, and despite having planned the costume out earlier on in the month I only made it on the Wednesday just before a party, and didn't even know if it would work. Derp.

Scars done with collodium and liquid eyeliner - streak done with white hairspray, though I would have preferred clip in pieces.
Still, it was an excellent costume, and I really want to dress up as the Bride again with more time now. And despite being late, it was a fun party.

I also made some excellent Halloween cakes with Fiona (a dear friend of mine - with the same name as me - who's a very good baker), which were both tasty and creepy as hell.

It's been a really busy few days, hence I've not really been keeping up with blogging; I've felt bad about that, but my work/life balance has been all out recently as there's been a lot of commitments to uphold. Halloween wasn't as well planned as I'd have liked it to have been, and I never did anything for the day of the dead either, so there's lots to improve for next year; I might even host something myself. Until then, I should hopefully get back into the swing of things for November.

Finally, it was my Gran's birthday on All Soul's Day, like a true witch child. Happy birthday, Grannie - I miss you.

Stay safe!