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Tuesday, 28 January 2014

January Blog Round Up

Well, January certainly hasn't come in quietly! I knew it was too good to be true when the weather was mild and my classes weren't too taxing; I now have loads of deadlines springing out of nowhere and the sky is grey and pouring out. I also have to start searching for a place to live next year soon, which is tricky as around this time of year so is half of Dundee.

I've been hiding from the world by reading blogs, and everyone has been publishing loads of interesting things, from outfits and knickers (oh my!) to furniture and declarations of engagement.

  • N. Finsternis and her partner Boris dress to the nines for a local alternative fashion and culture event, proving that you can be male in alternative subcultures and look fabulous.
  • Cody of Dark Stalker Girl announced that she and her boy friend were getting married (congrats!), and oh my god their engagement tattoos. I adore the idea.
  • Sary Walrus posted about the roles of epistemes and trends in fashion and subcultures - I'm nuts about the sociological study of subculture movements, so I found this really interesting.
  • Haute Macabre, reporter on things beautiful and expensive, featured the lingerie brand Hopeless, and if I was the type of person who lined their wallet with £50 notes I would already own these.
  • Haute Macabre also recently posted about this etsy pentacle bookcase - for all you wiccans and pagans out there needing somewhere to store your book of shadows, take note.


Friday, 24 January 2014

My blog is a year old!


... well, a year and 10 days. ;)

It's true - I didn't properly mark my own blog's birthday! I started back at uni the week my blog turned one, and though I knew it was coming up I forgot to do something for it. I'm actually very surprised that I've stuck through a whole year, as I have a tendency to abandon projects after a while (e.g. I don't use tumblr nearly as much as I used to), but I'm really proud of this blog. It's kept my hand in at writing, given me a means to meet other goths and interesting people and generally have a lot of fun. Professional bloggers always talk about 'finding your blogging niche', and what I post on has changed over the past 12 months. However, I can identify some of my areas and aims -

  • Providing a resource for goths (particularly for Scottish Goths!) and posting about goth culture
  • Posting about my own thoughts and opinions and rants where I feel they may be a fresh perspective on the issue
  • Chronicling aspects of my life (such as DIY and events)

I've also identified my code of ethics for my blog, which you can find here and here.

As for the future? Well, I am excited for it. I love blogging and want to stick with it, and with the sudden explosion in the number of blog writers and in outside interest, there's no better time to be a blogger. There's so many things I still want to do and write about, and I'm really looking forward to continuing growing my blog. I might need to change my URL, tweak my background or even actually learn to code (oh god). As for upcoming topics, here's some things I was thinking on...

  • Student Goth (series)
  • Monthly Craft Challenge
  • Goth from a feminist perspective

Let me know if any of you guys are keen for any of these or have any other ideas. :)


Sunday, 19 January 2014

Guest posters, Questions and other collaborations welcome!

Got an interesting concept that you think might have a place on my blog? Are you a musician, an artist, model or a business, and have something to say? Do you just want to know what my favourite Adventure Time character is?

You can now do that! I'm looking for guest posters and interviewees, and am happy to receive questions from readers (publicly or privately answered as desired). As also stated on my blog, I'm also willing to do reviews of products or services, or feature brands I support. Just attach all queries to the leg of your nearest carrier pigeon send any questions or requests to :)


P.S. It's Gunter.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Humors and Demeanors: Problem Glyphs by Eliza Gauger


Some of you are probably familiar with the work of Eliza Gauger, or 3liza on tumblr, but if not she's an Oakland illustrator and fine artist of magnificent skill, known for her love of monsters and geek/alternative friendly art.


Gauger's current project Problem Glyphs (WARNING: some NSFW content, and potential triggers), based on her tumblr account, involves her designing individual glyphs in response to the problems sent in by her followers, ranging from someone finding it difficult to concentrate to people struggling with mental health issues and life decisions.


Gauger has declined describing the process by which she comes up with her glyphs, stating, "its a) boring and b) may hijack the personal interpretations of the other people who are using the glyphs". Based in both her knowledge of mythology and her own personal feelings and associations with both problem and imagery, she compares the method of the glyphs to tarot, but also points out the human aspect of the project -

"The other half of magic, and medicine, and witchcraft, is just knowing somebody is paying attention to your problem, and gives enough of a shit to try and help you with it."

A parallel project to provide every glyph with an accompanying poem is also being undertaken by Elias I. K. B., and the glyphs are categorized according to their humors (blood, milk, brine, honey and ink) and demeanours (febrile, fulsome, lucent, warlike and peregrine). Gauger refuses to turn down any request she receives, though at the time of publishing was unable to accept anymore due to a ginormous backlog - when requests are again open, however, she can be contacted at her personal tumblr.


All images property of Eliza Gauger, sourced from the Problem Glyphs Tumblr.
UPDATE - Gauger has recently put the Problem Glyphs project up on Patreon. Go check it out, and support if you can afford it!

Friday, 10 January 2014

Fatigue with Goth?

As you've all been well aware, I've been venturing into new territory in terms of fashion. Not only have I been finding new inspiration in the twenties and mainstream trends, but I've been feeling a little tired with gothic fashion (and to a lesser extent with the music), and unable to feel like making an effort beyond a cursory nod to my usual monochrome colour palate. Part of it is due to the horrendous Scottish winter, which makes me want to wrap up in as many layers of knitwear as possible and hibernate, and also feeling too ill for anything more than jeans and a tee, but I've not been inspired by my usual idols in clothes or in music, and I didn't want to force it; it was weird feeling a disconnect from what has been a bit part of my life for a few years now, but it would be worse to stick it out and force myself to stay with a persona for the sake of loyalty.

I'm happy to say that, after a brief holiday, my goth side is back with a vengeance.

When coming back home after a trip away, it refreshes anew everything special about it. After I began to feel more like making an effort with life, I ended up flicking through pinterest photos of Siouxsie Sioux and listening to old Banshees hits. And rather than feeling tired and over-played, my favourite albums were refreshed and captured me again. And just like that, my enthusiasm for gothic and post punk subcultures was revived.

As goths, we often make a big deal about how it's not just a phase, and how this is a lasting passion - which is understandable, giving the amount of slander many of us have received about how we'll be back in blue denim when we get a 'real' job. But one of the things I think is most integral to any alternative lifestyle is accepting that it may well be a phase, and not being afraid to drop everything and chase inspiration or sit down the make up and put something else on the record player. As a result of my period of wandering, I've not only rekindled an old love, but also given myself more ideas and stimuli than ever from areas I didn't expect.

Just as important as not being afraid to step away from well trodden paths, the experience made me think about what goth means to me. Many of my friends don't understand the dichotomy between music and fashion in the subculture, and how integral fashion is to the goth scene. I could relate it to dressing for the occasion, but it's more central than that; it's dressing for how you feel. Gothic music, the beating heart and backbone and soul of the movement, is dark and twisting, and has a wrenching beauty that's almost painful. It takes me up in that and makes me feel dark and mysterious and something more than mundane, as silly as that sounds, and I want to represent that in how I dress. There's a delicate balance between beauty and ugliness in goth fashion which is translated from the music; not only does goth challenge what you consider beauty to be, it forces you to think about whether beauty is even important or not. I rarely get compliments when I'm looking particularly gothic, and often get told I 'look so much nicer with lighter make up'. But I don't mind, even if those comments are a little insensitive, because it's not them I'm dressing for.

I'm glad I stood back from goth and considered it. It's made me far happier in my own skin, and more aware of its importance to me.


Sunday, 5 January 2014

Wardrobe Feature: Buckled Winklepickers

I'm well overdue to do a piece of jewellery in my wardrobe feature, but I'm that happy with my new boots that I can't even express it.

A friend of mine swears by a rule for expensive purchases; if it's not in the sale, it's not meant to be. That logic actually applied for this purchase; I saw these boots in Office back in November, but as they were over £80 I decided to wait and see. Then, lo and behold, they were in the sale at the end of the year for half price.

I decided to include these as my first wardrobe feature of the year for a few reasons - as stated, I absolutely love them, and as my first purchase for the new year they represent my wish to fill my wardrobe with things I've fallen head over heels for. They also hark back to the trad goth style I love and want to infuse my wardrobe with, so you'll certainly be seeing a few outfits featuring these.


P.s. I just got 5,000 views, you guys! Thanks a bunch!

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Resolutions for 2014

My wee baby, who has been ill over the holidays with a UTI. :(

(My usual wardrobe feature post has been postponed, and instead will be up in a day or two.) 

Welp, the year is over. I'm not actually sure what to say about 2013; it was a strange and mixed year, but not a terrible one. I'm hoping 2014 is destined to be a good year, especially for a lot of bloggers out there who have had a difficult time over the last 12 months. It's certainly going to be an exciting one, as Scotland votes on whether or not to become an independent country, I look for my first flat (!) and my course go into the last year of my academic teaching phase.

I made resolutions at the end of last year as to what I was hoping for the year ahead, and I can happily say that I haven't crafted as much as I said I would, nor become a proficient cook or shopped exclusively second hand. I hugged my dog a lot, at least.

Still, I always treat resolutions more as guidelines, and I have developed somewhat. I've learned how to stop feeling guilty about things that I shouldn't be worrying about. Whilst my views as a feminist haven't changed, I've learned about new issues and also how to better express myself and talk to people who aren't as enthusiastic as me. As both a medic and a fashion enthusiast, I'm finding new areas (infertility, child health) and inspirations (nu goth, twenties flapper) without feeling overwhelmed or like I'm betraying myself. I got a job, and earned my way during the summer. My health has been poor for the latter part of the year, but I've managed to overcome that.

As for this year? Well, there's still things I want to change.

  • Cut down on PDA. Guilty as charged. Part of it is just me forgetting that my levels of normal physical contact are above those of most people, and part of it is just due to bad habits.
  • Switch from Digital to Analogue. I spend a lot of time - far too much - and I've also been neglecting a lot of old passions, like reading and crafting. I want to switch over so that I'm not so reliant on technology for work and for entertainment.
  • Do something with my hair. Because Christ, it gets boring wearing it the same way all the time.
  • Not be afraid to wander down new paths. I have a post about this coming up, but I don't want be restricted to a very narrow range of interests.
  • Make my study time more effective and relax more. I have a tendency to plod on with work even when it's fruitless, and forgetting to do things that I enjoy.
  • Clear out my closet. I've managed to learn how not to take stuff to Dundee that I don't wear, but my wardrobe at home has far more things that need to leave!
  • Wear every colour of the rainbow for lipstick. Because it came to my attention that I haven't ever tried green lipstick yet, and that simply will not do.

Do you feel that New Year's Resolutions are an outdated fad, or have you made your own? Let me know in the comments!