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Monday, 25 August 2014

August Round Up

Hello all! August is coming to an end, and with it summer. I'm posting this summary a few days earlier than usual to take part in Sophistique Noir's Monthly Theme Challenge, so keep an eye out for that happening over the next few days.

Until then, check out what's been happening recently -


  • I spent a lovely two weekends at the Edinburgh Fringe, watching cabaret, burlesque, comedy and dancing to big band. I also got to go up St. Giles Cathedral's clock tower and onto the roof, which you can see pictures of here
  • I've now moved back to Dundee and started university again (boo), so I'm going to be pretty busy until next summer - I will endeavour to keep up with the blog, though!
  • My room is so much nicer than last year, but was unfortunately not even remotely ready to move into; my shower has a bad leak, the floor and couches need replaced, the cooker isn't working, and the place was filthy. Nonetheless, the management have been very helpful, and I'm hoping to feature pictures here soon.

My blog

  • I'm considering changing the aesthetics of this blog, as it's feeling a little spartan; the navigation also needs to be improved. Does anyone have any suggestions as to what they'd like to see in future?
  • The plus side of returning to study is that I have boy wonder back on hand, and I can take outfit photos once again! I've bought a lot of gorgeous clothes over summer, which I'm keen to showcase. Watch this space. 
  • I've been making progress in my DIYs (though I've not been posting them, derp), and recently published a pentacle hoop earring DIY, which can be found here.


  • Dr. Marten's Bernadette sandal... boot... thing has been making waves, but not necessarily for the right reason; I'm not a big fan, but I also hated creepers when I first saw them, so I'm withholding judgement. What's your thoughts?
  • My current favourite blog is Fatshion Peep Show, which is run by plus sized gothic and retro fan Stina. She looks gorgeous enough to be intimidating in her Pentagram harness outfit post.  
  • Appropriate for returning to university, The Everyday Goth has advice for a reader who is just about to move to university and is sharing with someone who may not share her aesthetic tastes.
  • Stacey of Aesthetic Contradiction is forever my style inspiration, looking great in a floating dress and a harness. 

I'll be publishing my make up post for Sophistique Noir's monthly challenge soon, so keep an eye out for that! Until then, let me know what you've been up to and leave a comment.


Thursday, 21 August 2014

The Curious Professor's Homework Assignment: Inspiring Songs

First off, apologies for not having this up on time. I could talk about how I was seeing Fringe shows at the weekend, packing for university and working during for the week, but excuses aren't usually of interest to the reader and the reality is that the events of Ferguson really did a number on me. Anyway. Onto business.

Surprisingly, this was a really hard challenge for me. Despite being a great music enthusiast, I must admit something I'm very embarrassed about; I haven't listened to any new music in a long time. And I do mean a very long time.

New music is a very difficult thing for me; I take a long time to warm up to anything I haven't heard before, even if I eventually grow to love it. Added to that the overwhelming labyrinthian network of bands that's out there (which I'm apparently expected to know?), and it's just too much to do.

I find the term 'inspiring' very non-specific; inspiring for what? Swing dance? Swooping about in black lace? Joining an anarchist collective and shouting about the inequality in society? Different music affects so many different facets of my life, in many different ways. However, there are certain songs which affect me in ways others can't, and make me feel like something more, an escape from reality; this was one of the things that so enamoured me about post punk when I first began listening to it. Some of these are very typical hits, but hits are hits for a reason.

Track List
Bauhaus - She's in Parties
Kuuntele Ääniä - Kuudes TuntiJoy Division - 24 Hours
Sisters of mercy - Poison Door
Sex Beat - Sex Beat
Siouxsie and the Banshees - Into the Light
Joy Division - Disorder
The Damned - Smash it up

In reality, I could write an essay on each of these selections (maybe I will sometime?), and why they are so significant, but I'll let the songs speak for themselves. The chemistry of these songs really do inspire my appearance, mindset and mood. Within them, I can find a certain synergy within myself that I can't find solely through other means. My aspiration for next year is to have added more music to this list.

I hope that this selection awakens the same feelings in you - maybe not, because of the individuality of music, but these songs represent a large part of my psyche (sorry if that sounds pretentious). I may check the order later, but I'm tired currently and may have to wait until the morning. Good night, all!

What do you find makes a song personally affect you? Any song suggestions for a musical stagnate? Please do let me know!


Friday, 15 August 2014

Tutorial: DIY Pentacle Hoop Earrings

It's been a little quiet on the crafting front, as I've been busy with work and too tired in the evenings to make myself do much. However, I've been wanting to feature more DIY projects on An Honest Drug, and even more wanting to encourage everyone else to get into crafting as well.

Not having pierced ears, other than a few ear cuffs I don't really wear a lot of earrings; outside of a few select places it's difficult to get clip on earrings and some styles aren't possible to make. Nonetheless, a few weeks ago I saw a DIY on Mooky Chick for pentagram earrings, which have been incredibly popular recently. However, I didn't want to use wool, and so devised a means of making my own pair - and just for you, followers, I turned it into a tutorial!

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Photography: The Fringe, and St Giles Cathedral

I have a strange habit of gravitating towards churches wherever I go; it started early, having a father who would teach me about the architecture of vast cathedrals and visiting tiny highland kirks to see Pictish Stones, but it's never quite gone away. Whatever you think of religion - christianity or otherwise - the houses of god are beautiful ones.

My first day at the fringe was a day in which nothing went to plan, but I still had a wonderful time. I missed my first show because of a mis-communication regarding trains (my fault) and went instead to see a musical production of The Importance of Being Earnest, after which we missed every show we tried to attend. We finally managed Andrew O'Neill's free stand up show (of The Men That Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing and my mental list of 'men most likely to make me swoon'), which was cackle-worthy in all the right ways. No photos of either, but both shows were great.

It's fun knowing people with connections; a friend of mine used to work at St. Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh (you'll almost undoubtedly pass it if you visit the Royal Mile), and he popped in to see an old friend still working there. We were treated to a cup of tea and some chit chat, before being offered the rare opportunity to go up to the roof. The inside of the kirk is beautiful enough - curiously irregular in shape, with beautiful windows and carvings - and definitely worthy of a visit, but it was decidedly an honour to see inside the clock tower.

We weren't there on the hour, unfortunately, but we got to see the inner workings of the clocks and go up the rickety stairs, before taking some photos looking over Edinburgh. Ben, having spent several summers painting the roof of the church, had no fear in strolling along the angled lead, but I was slightly more afraid of slipping and becoming a gruesome art installation on the Royal Mile.

I'd have shown a picture of me standing in front of this, but it would spoil the view. Interestingly, no one ever looks up.

It's terribly old and rickety, and Ben was worried that in my excitement I would fall down the uneven hand-cut stairs or lean against an unstable beam, but I loved it. In someways, this dusty and most select part of the church is more hallowed than the main kirk itself. Even if only to me, and those who care for it.

"Ring the bells that still can ring 
Forget your perfect offering 
There is a crack in everything 
That's how the light gets in."

I wish I could show more photos of my visit to St. Giles, but I didn't want to clutter this post (you might see them on their facebook, however). St. Giles will soon offer roof tours to the general public, so keep an eye out for that, and consider donating to keep these old buildings alive. 


Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Wardrobe Feature: DIY Vintage Winks

What do you know? I managed to pull together a wardrobe feature. Apologies that it's five days late, but writing and photographing for a post in two days was more than I could take.

Some time during the past academic year, I picked up some winklepickers from a charity shop - true winks, unlike my others (which I love regardless). Being favoured for donation by women who got them in the eighties, Dundonian charity shops have a lot of them, and though most aren't to my tastes I knew that if I waited patiently a pair in my size would show up. As predicted, after a year of keeping an eye out a pair eventually did - and, as charity shop winklepickers go, they were rather ugly.

Still, given the difficulty I have finding shoes that actually fit (and these do!), how long I'd waited and the £5 price tag, in the bag they went. The only true winklepickers I've seen new online are sold by RetroShu on ebay (no returns), Demonia (reportedly terrible quality) and Underground (expensive to the point of ridicule), so these were a golden ticket fluttering from the sky. Like a resourceful make-doer, I planned on cutting them down to ankle height and adding straps to make them them more to my taste. They then promptly sat stagnating for several months at the back of my wardrobe, because for all my optimism, am I really going to be proactive enough to do all that?

I finally pulled them out of their incubation this week and considered them. The length isn't a particularly easy one to work with, but they've surprisingly grown on me; if I could add something to form a visual break to the zip they would look far better. Two skinny belts later and I'm actually excited to wear them out now.

I sometimes wonder about people complaining that they never see anything in charity shops. It's a different state of mind from normal shopping; most are overpicked nowadays, but for all the charity shop tips on adapting and repairing and reconsidering, the most valuable tool you can have is patience.

Has anyone else found any gems in second hand shops recently? Revived something that's been lurking in the back of your wardrobe?