Saturday, 29 November 2014

The Professor's Monthly Homework Assignment: Fin and Feather and Scales and Skin, Our Babies


You may have seen the picture of my cat on the 'About' page of this blog.

His name is technically technically Just Jordan, but we just call him Puss.


Here he is looking alarmed at the prospect of spending Christmas
at my boyfriend's place.
Puss is getting on a bit. He's around (I can't remember exactly D:) ten years old. He is a blue Burmese who used to be a show cat - we bought him off a breeder after his days as a stud and show cat were over.

Possibly because he was a show cat, he has a great personality. He's really a little gentleman in a fur coat.


One of my favourite photos of him, sitting on my
window. (Yes, I know I used it here before).
He's quite gentle, loves to have conversations and sometimes eats porridge and rice.

Did anyone else do a furry/scaly/non-human 'baby' for their homework? :)

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Jurassic Lounge: Day of the Dead

Well behind the eight ball here, I've finally gotten around to writing about Day of the Dead at Jurassic Lounge.



Unfortunately, I didn't have anything in the way of a Halloween celebration this year (no one even trick or treats in my neighbourhood), so to make up for it I booked myself and a friend into Jurassic Lounge's Day of the Dead night. I've attended Jurassic Lounge before, which you can read about here.

Jurassic Lounge was an event night series at the Australian Museum in Sydney which unfortunately shut down at the end of 2013 due to not enough attendees (the event drew massive crowds only on particular nights). This year though, Jurassic Lounge returned for one night, November 1, to host a Day of the Dead party, complete with pinata making, sugar skulls and photo sessions with the bone collections.

Here's my face on the night.
Being the special snowflake I am, I decided to make a bat pinata instead of the round ones that everyone else was making (round? Ptsh.) and with my friend making a flower, we sat for way longer than everyone else trying to finish the damned things. It didn't help that one of the workers loved my bat so much she kept stopping me to take photos, or to show the bat to other people, which was a bit awkward.

The bat pinata in question.

Anyway, the bat got done and we went for a wander through the museum's three floors, got our photos taken with a couple of skulls and watched some burlesque performances. It was a quieter night than the last time we went, but that may partially have been because I was tired.

Have any of you Aussie readers ever been to a Jurassic Lounge night?

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

The CorpGoth Mid-Month Status Report: The Daily Commute


My blog has been updated in time to catch the CorpGoth Mid-Month Status report!

(Please let me know what you think of the new blog layout.)

So, my commute to work takes about 3/4 hour in the mornings. I have to drive (unfortunately for my little green heart) because there are no bus or train services from where I live to where I work at that time of day.

My car is stocked with an umbrella, a windscreen shade and a box of muesli bars. The muesli bars are helpful during the hour long drive home :) Also helpful is my iPod and the dulcet tones of Nick Cave, or sometimes just the interesting indie music that Triple J has to showcase.

There's nothing particularly special about my commute to work, although one time, heading back, I decided to take a slightly different route home and noticed a party/costume shop. Just before Halloween.

The place was full of great stuff, things that I could actually wear on a daily basis, so when I got to the counter with my things, the cashier was a bit surprised that I didn't want any fake blood or cobwebs. No mate, this is what I wear everyday. I don't need the fake blood, I'm not going to a party.

Has anyone ever had that happen to them before??

Friday, 31 October 2014

Encyclopaedia of Alternative Fashion † Halloween Goth

Hey, I got this out in time for Halloween! (It's actually literally Hallows Even here right now.)
Edit: Beetlejuice is also playing on tv.

The full Encyclopaedia of Alternative Fashion can be found here.

Source.

What
Halloween goth is one of those 'fashion styles' that could be an actual style, but equally just some kind of costume-play. Type 'halloween goth' into Google and you're likely to end up with some super dodgy costumes.

 
No.


But halloween goth is quite possibly a thing. Basically, it involves taking common halloween motifs (bats, pumpkins, orange, stripes) and creating a non-costumey outfit.

Source.

 The Pumpkin Patch has a very good description:
"What makes a Goth a Halloween Goth?
  •  Being a Goth (Duh!)
  • Thinks Halloween is more than just a holiday
  • Halloween shines through in their fashion: blacks and oranges, purples, and greens. Monsters and pumpkins, jack-o-lanterns and Halloween paraphernalia galore!
  • Halloween costumes are always in season
  • Enjoys Halloween themed music, creepy haunt sounds, haunting melodies, even some of the goofier Halloween songs! (The Scarecrow likes to imagine everyone enjoys bouncy yet evil Carnival music too!)
  • Indulges in the Halloween novelties and cliches.
  • Ecstatic when October comes
  • Sanderson Sisters are idols… Where’s a virgin when you need one???"
Actually finding images of halloween goths is super hard, I mean, did I mention those SUPER TACKY *GOTH* COSTUMES THAT SEEM TO POP UP EVERY HALLOWEEN

Source.

 But there are a few. So enjoy. And Happy Halloween, kittens :3

Halloween nu goth? Source.
Further reading and resources

Friday, 17 October 2014

Commonly confused styles † Gothic lolita vs Kuro lolita

Kuro v Gothic, using the same dress. Source.

Gothic Lolita and Kuro Lolita are easily mixed up, due to the predominance of black in both. The differences are:

  • Kuro 黑 (black) Lolita is always, always black and nothing else. Gothic lolita may wear all sorts of other colours.
  • Gothic Lolita will wear 'spooky' or ... well, 'gothic' accessories. Skulls, crosses, cobwebs, etc. 
  • Gothic Lolita tend to wear heavy eye makeup.
  • Gothic lolita tend to have more details and general 'decadence' about their outfit
  • Gothic lolita tend to keep their hair long, plain and straight
  • There is also a tendency for Kuro Lolis to look cuter and sweeter
Simply put, Kuro Lolita is a typical lolita style, but all in black.

Further resources

Friday, 10 October 2014

Encyclopaedia of Alternative Fashion † Qi Lolita

The full Encyclopaedia of Alternative Fashion can be found here.


Source.

Country of Origin
Japan, with Chinese influences


I'd wear this. Source.

Gender Balance
Female identifying


Source.

What
Qi Lolita is another of the rare Lolita styles influenced by the traditional clothing of a particular culture, like Wa Lolita, Han-loli and Wyrd Loli. Qi Loli is influenced by a fairly recent 'traditional' Chinese clothing item, the cheongsam 長衫 or qipao 旗袍


As you can see here, the cheongsam is a fairly recent creation, influenced by the west. Source, although I believe this work belongs to  Nancy Duong.

Qi lolita takes the top half of the cheongsam (either with straight-down Chinese buttons or diagonal) to the waist, but retains the 'cupcake' shape unique to the lolita style. Chinese-style hairpieces replace head-eating bows and bonnets; bun covers and hairpins are common. Chinese parasols and fans are also regularly used.

A more 'fusion style' with use of arm warmers and old school headdress. Source.

Some sources suggest that Qi lolita tends only to be a 'special occasion' or even 'cosplay' style. So despite Qi Lolita's exotic (and generally agreed to be beautiful) appearance, there are few lolitas who wear this style, and fewer retailers. Lolita Poupee has a 2011 blog post on retailers of Qi and Wa lolita fashion, but Qi lolitas are mainly on their own when it comes to putting together outfits.

Source.

Further reading and resources

Friday, 3 October 2014

50 Gothy Blog Prompts † Part 1

So my time-strapped life means I'm doing another one of those memes in almost one post.

This is The Everyday Goth's 50 Gothy Blog Prompts. I know she asks for lots of photos, but that takes too much time I don't have, so here, have some text.

1. Post some pictures of a style you might wear if you didn't dress in Goth fashion, and talk about what attracts you to this style. 
If I wasn't a goth, I would probably be a mori girl. I love nature and actually, despite most of my wardrobe being blacks, reds and jewel tones, really like the neutrals and pale colours of mori girl. I might also try my hand at dolly kei, if I didn't dress gothic.

2. Do "a day in the life" of you. Take lots of pictures.
Ah. Well, since I've been working, my day usually consists of: wake up at 5:30, change into uniform, have breakfast, catch the bus, do stretches, work, eat something, work, eat something else, work, go home, nap, shower, put on bat onesie, eat, vaguely browse internet, sleep. Repeat. The only goth thing in there is probably the bat onesie 0;....;o

On the weekends, when they're free (because I always seem to be doing something, dammit) I try to go shopping. I love thrift stores, Daiso and fashion magazines like Yen and Peppermint because they are all great DIY inspirations. Where I can, I try to slot in a little DIYing.

Oh wait, my phone case is gothy. It's black faux leather with rounded studs on it. Rawk.

3.
What has been your biggest hurdle to overcome on being a Goth? Talk about who or what have made being a Goth difficult for you. 
That would be my mother. She's alright, but convinced that goths are evil/depressed/too rebellious for their own good and if something bad happens to them, they deserve it. I'm not hardcore goth so she still hasn't really twigged, but it really annoys me when she bitches about alternative people.

4.Post a link to something you're saving up for. Threaten people so that they don't go buying it before you can.
This.

5.Write some goals for the coming year, blog or wardrobe or life related. Or, if you've done that, write about how they're coming along.
I would like to continue gothing up my life wherever possible. Working so much can be draining, particularly when I can't always express myself, but indulging in my dark loves when I can makes up for all that.

6.Post some music you've been listening to lately, or make a playlist.
I haven't been listening to music for a while! :( But I have found myself regularly humming Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds (especially Mermaids and Easy Money) whilst trudging to work in the dark.

7. Plan a meet up. You don't actually have to host it, but write about what you'd like to do if you could. Where would you go? How many people? What would you do?
I would like to have a cooking party, actually. Or maybe a DIY party. A fun space for people to swap gothy recipes and ideas. So as many people as possible, at someone's house, I guess.

8. Plan a photo shoot. Who would model (you?) and what would the theme be? The clothes?
Oooo, tough one. I would probably like to do a 'dark goddess' photo shoot. I did a drawing way back when of a number of 'dark' goddesses, such as Izanami, Japanese goddess of death, Hecate, Greek goddess of witchcraft and Keket, Egyptian goddess of chaos. 

9.How do you blog? Write a post on how post on your blog posts come about. What tools do you use, where do you find your visuals, how do you come up with your ideas?
When I'm not blogging about different fashion styles, I tend to blog off what I read. Sometimes another post or an article will set off a light in my head and I'll want to write something.

10. Ask for help with inspiration or problem-solving your in-progress DIY projects.
I think I'm good, actually. But I will, if I need to.

11. How do you store your clothes, jewelry, and accessories? Does it work for you? Are you looking to make a change?
My clothes are in two locations: a built in cupboard in my room and another in the hallway. The one in my room only has rails for hanging things; I keep my dresses and jackets there. The one in the hallways is all shelves, and I put all my other clothes there, plus shoes and bags. Jewellery is also in several places: on my dresser, in two jars, two small drawers and on a black jewellery tree. I also have a little armoire (dark blue, with golden celestial bodies on it) and a jewellery hanger nailed to one of my bookcases. It's kind of all over the place, and I would dearly love, when I get my own place, to dedicate one small room to my clothing and accessories, almost like a walk-in wardrobe.

12. Write about why you blog, and what it has done for you so far.
I love to blog, but for a long time I was never very good at it. Maybe I'm still not. I would blog about random stuff, with long periods between posting. I rarely communicated with others, just kind of hoped that someone would notice my work. Now I just blog for myself, I find I enjoy it a lot more. I don't really care that I don't have a massive blog - if I get lots of readers, so be it. If I don't, so be it. It makes me happy to blog, QED.

13. Feature some other bloggers. What posts are you loving? Who is especially fabulous this week?
My particular favourite goth bloggers, in no particular order, are: Sary Walrus, Lynoire, 1666 X 30 and La Carmina. Favourite goth vloggers would be Allison Eckfeldt, Sebastian Columbine and The Gothic Alice.

14. Confess: what stereotypically Goth things do you not like?
I like the idea of horror games, but not necessarily playing them. If I'm not too tired, I actually like playing Slender, Dark Meadows and Amnesia, but since I'm tired all the time, I've avoided them for a while ^_^; I also reel at the idea of Bloody Marys (tomato, seriously?) 

15. Make some themed Polyvore sets, or sets based on life events. (What would you wear to go on vacation in Maui? What do you want to wear to your wedding? What would you wear to a job interview?)
No.

Have more text instead.

For job interviews, I like to wear a short pencil skirt, collared shirt and a vest. The vest always matches the colour of the skirt (either grey or black). My favourite was wearing a black vest and skirt (with a small bustle/ruffle thing) with a bright red, long-sleeved collared shirt. 

16. Give Babybats some advice you wish you'd had.
Invest some time in learning make up skills. Do more DIY. Get lots of inspiration from the internet. Don't be scared.

17. "This Day in Goth History."
Stuff happened, I guess?

18. Post about the little things in your life that you've "Gothed up."
So many things.

Okay, that's not an answer. Uh, my work lunchbox is covered with sticker skulls. Several bookcases plus my closet door have bat stickers on them. A pair of jeans that started to die have mysterious symbols bleached into them...


19. Make a Goth Bucket List. What Goth-related things do you want to do or see with your life?
I want to go to a whole bunch of events: Bats Day in the Fun Park, Wave Gotik Treffen, Whitby Goth Weekend. I would like to go to a Goth club at least once, go to a Masquerade ball and have a Halloween party. 

Some of these are possible. I will make them happen.

20. Write about the interests that seem to "clash" with being a Goth, and how they do or don't.
Sometimes I actually like to sometimes wear casual fairy kei, aomoji-kei or pop-kei. For those of you who don't know, the first two are based on pastel colours, whilst the last is based on bright colours.

Yeah, that's totally not goth.

In my defence, most of my wardrobe(s) is taken up with black and red. Possibly around 2/3 of my clothing. But some days, after going through tumblr or youtube, or watching anime, I just feel like wearing some crazy mix of colours. Like the other day, a pastel yellow sweater with bright pink jeans and purple sneakers.

I always return to the dark side, but it's nice to have a change every now and then. Keeps one appreciative.

21. What's in your DIY "to-do" pile? Or, what DIY materials have you still not found a purpose for?
I'm planning on putting patches on some distinctly non-Gothy things to make them, at least, punk. One is a long cosy jumper/jacket thing with a tartan hood and a Paddington bear D: patch on one arm. The other is a hoodie from when I was a Model United Nations delegate at uni. 
I also have some black corduroy pants which are wearing thin at the butt, so they're also going to be patched.  And a black velvet dress which needs some black lace at the arm holes.

22. Name the stupidest piece of advice anyone has given to you about being a Goth. Counter it with some good ones.
Hm, I've never really been given any advice.

23. Post about your Goth-related collections. What are some things you want to add to it? Which are your favorites?
I love Gothy jewellery, so lots of chokers, collars, crosses, spikes, ear cuffs, chains, etc. etc. ad infinitum. Whilst not necessarily punk, I would love to get a Vivienne Westwood orb lighter-necklace thing ala Nana. And her armour ring.

My favourite piece in my collection would be my black collar (I wear it the most), an amazing watch which looks like a wrist cuff - you have to lift a metal panel to reveal the clock face, and a black choker that resembles curling briar.

24. List some of your Goth Idols. Who are they and why do they inspire you?
Most of my Goth idols are internet personalities. Allison Eckfeldt aka Kazlovesbats for her fashion style and outlook on life. Hello Batty for her love of Monster High (hahaha). The Gothic Alice for her amazing DIYs and creativity. 

25. Post your everyday make up routine, with product names.
I tend to get all my makeup from Daiso. I just apply some black eyeshadow, use some liquid eyeliner to add a little flick to the outer corners of my eyes, and apply mascara. I tend to eat lipstick, so I hardly wear any. No foundation or other stuff for me :P

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Story † Coffee-Coloured Clouds

This is a piece of flash fiction which I intended to get published in a magazine under the theme 'birthmark' but finished it a bit late. Reading back, I'm not entirely happy with it any more, and since I don't think I'll try and get it published, I'll put it here instead.

I'll try and get some more Alternative Encyclopaedia entries done soon. I promise!

***

She rubs at the birthmark on my arm, as if it might by some chance come off, and then suddenly says, “He had one on his knee. Your brother, I mean.”
We sit in silence, pondering the small, coffee-coloured patch on my forearm. I’m exploding inside with questions- Which knee? How big? Same colour? Same shape?- but I ask none of them. We are marked, still, with his death. I turn off the TV, since no-one is watching.

Later, showering, I catch a glimpse of myself in the bathroom mirror, see my other birthmark (fainter, but the same colour and shape) on my hip. It looks like a cloud. Does that mean anything? Was I marked, from birth, to be a dreamer? To be stormy? To be cute and fluffy? To be a sheep?
And my brother’s... what shape would his have been, to die so young?

Our bodies are marked by births; our lives, by deaths.

Scientifically speaking, a birthmark is an anomaly in skin melanin. I know this. I did Biology in university, and I did it well.
So why do these coffee-coloured clouds disturb me so much?
The answer is, truthfully, they don’t. It’s his that frustrate me. I try to picture his birthmark in my mind, but it’s all lies and conjecture, too long ago. I cling to them as a link between us, something we shared, a memory to prove he existed, but I’m forgetting and have forgotten anyway. Did he even exist?


I turn off the water and surface, as though born again. When we are born, I tell my reflection, we are marked for life. The effects are forever.

Sunday, 31 August 2014

Professor's Monthly Homework Assignment † Music and writing



Life has been BUSY. Masters + full time work is a difficult balance, but I've got my head above water for now, just.

Anyway, I just dropped by and discovered The Professor's Monthly Homework Assignment is due, so why not do something about that?

The topic is:
"For August's Homework Assignment, you are tasked to show us how songs or music inspire your dress, mood, art, writing, etc. Make that correlation between the song and the product of your inspiration; or, tell us what kind of music you listen to before you go out for the evening, or before work or school, or while you are relaxing at home. Remember, your post doesn't need to be fashion related. Get inspired! Think outside the box! HAVE FUN!!!"

For me, music has always been something which I associated with certain people and certain atmospheres. I also love to write. I've been published (small works) a few times, and I have a heap of unfinished works on my hard drive *cries* And each of those stories (and even some of the characters, in some of the longer, more complex pieces) has a playlist.

For example.

The Definitive Guide to Humanity (unpublished) is a sci-fi police story set in Hong Kong. Any music from any of the Ghost in the Shell series is great to play in the background while I write. In particular, I Do by Ilaria Graziano suits the main character, Rebeca (Ree) Lang very well.



To be honest, I love Ilaria Graziano's voice. Another of her songs, Monochrome, is great inspiration for a character named The Arlecchina from my (unfinished, again) story All Her Creatures. This story is a sort of crazy urban fantasy set in a modern city prowled by anthropomorphic personifications and stock characters. 


I once did a writing exercise where I played ten songs at random, and for the duration of the song I had to write a story inspired by the music. Maybe I'll post them up here one day.

I have also written stories for close friends for their birthdays. At the start of each chapter, I would include a quote from a song which they liked, and which also related to the chapter content. For example, one story revolved around colours, so each chapter had a colour and a song quote which also inspired the chapter.

1. Monochrome - Jethro Tull, Black and White TV
2. Red - Nine Inch Nails, Please (“Watch the white turn to red.”)
3. Orange - The Doors, Orange County Suite
4. Yellow - Yo La Tengo, Yellow Sarong
5. Green - Coldplay, Green Eyes
6. Blue - Joy Division, Blue Monday (although apparently this is the wrong attribution. Damn you, internet.)
7. Purple - Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds, Spell (“The snow turns to streams of light, the purple heather grows anew.”)
8. Polychrome - Massive Attack, Blue Lines (“They wash away my shadow and … leave rainbows in the dark.”)


So music is massively important for my creative side. Even just writing this post up is making me itch to write. Does anyone else use music in this way? Would you like me to put some of my poetry or writing up here?

Friday, 15 August 2014

Looking after one's self † the importance of self-care

As it often is with my posts, this post has been written after reading other people's comments on other blogs/websites.

I think it's an incredibly important topic which should be addressed, and something that people are not always aware of.

A bit of background: I do a little bit of volunteer work on the side (squeezed in between my three jobs and Masters - did I tell everyone I'm doing a Masters now?) with a youth group in my area. We are working on a mental health project, and one of the big things that seems to come up is self-care.

Self-care is, well, taking care of yourself. It's important to take time out from work to do things you enjoy. It's important to disengage for a while from people who are negative, hurt and suffering, even if you feel like they need constant help and attention. This is not about being selfish; it's about staying sane, objective and at your optimum.

I'm very interested in the idea of self-care because:
1. I'm an introvert. I.e. I seek time alone to re-energise, as opposed to an extrovert who seeks other people in order to re-energise.
2. I've had mental health issues which could otherwise interfere with my work, and I am a person who always wants to be useful. Stopping me working is a bad thing.
3. I know a lot of people who have and have had mental health issues, many of whom are very close and dear to me. It is important that, having spent so much time around such hurt people, I take a little time out for myself so that I can continue to support them.

So, how do you self-care?

I'll explain what I personally do, and then give some other ideas for self-care. These are a mix of very simple and very involved processes.

1. Stay warm
Although not always the case, I generally love to be warm and cosy. In summer, that means basking outside for a little bit. In winter, it means warm blankets and hot baths and showers. Hot drinks such as fruit tea, genmaicha and hot chocolate are great for this.

2. Aromatherapy
Candles, incense, bubblebath/bath salts and fresh flowers are all welcome to me. My favourite scents are mango, rose, sandalwood, apple and vanilla (although this one reminds me of cupcakes and makes me hungry).



3. A good book (or blog post)
Reading is no longer something I can just instantly engage in. It's something that takes a little more time to work myself around to doing. In addition, the book itself cannot be too suspenseful, and has to be something I have read before, otherwise I get too excited and I rub my tongue against my teeth without realising... resulting in a very sore tongue by the end of the book... I find simple blog posts about things are better to read.

4. Tidy up
I have a personality type that loves to be efficient and organised, but not compulsively. From where I am sitting on my bed, I can see a magazine on the floor, along with my work bag, my work boots and an exercise book I'm using for Masters. And that's okay. Only a small amount of mess, in a room that is otherwise, if not super super neat, very organised. In my room, if I want something, I can pinpoint where it is right away, as everything has it's place. I gain a great deal of satisfaction in tidying up, throwing out and re-arranging things. It gives me a fresh perspective and a lighter feeling.

5. Tarot/oracle/runes/etc
I currently have one set of oracle cards (the wonderful Kuan Yin 觀音 set), a set of angel tarot cards, and some rune stones I made myself. Although I do not believe that such things actually tell the future, I find they are excellent for meditation. The cards and runes suggest possibilities that I might otherwise have missed, particularly if I am stressed and my thoughts are jumbled. it's good for sorting out thoughts at a time like that.
For example, the other day I wok still feeling a little on edge and anxious. In situations where I have no specific focus for my concerns, I like to do a one-card draw, and that day I used the Kuan Yin set. I drew 'Dynasty of the Divine Mother'.


The interpretation reads:
The only wish of the Divine Mother Goddess is that all beings be spiritually free. The Divine Goddess calls us to realise our true nature, to fall in love with our own divinity. Enlightenment is a culmination of small steps, each one as a drop of water forming a divine ocean of peace, realisation, love and unity within us, an ocean that washes away fear, separation and scarcity and bathes us in abundance and bliss. You carry the torch of enlightenment in you, beloved. Let it shine each day.

I interpret this to mean, generally: Calm down, honey. You're awesome. just continue to be awesome. :D

6. Be gentle
It is important to treat yourself carefully. I don't mean to act to spoilt and avoid doing things because you don't like them, but recognise your boundaries. Know when you need to stop for a while.

There are other things I like to do to self-care, but it'll take a while to go through them in detail so I'll make a list instead:

  • Listen to music
  • Play with a pet/animal
  • Go for a walk (usually alone, for me)
  • Massage (if I can't get someone to give me one, I just roll a tennis ball between my back and the floor/a wall)
  • Eat something nice but light (I often go vegetarian for a bit)
  • Talk to someone: this one is incredibly important. Find someone you trust, or even a professional, and just talk. It helps, honest.)
  • Craft things :)
So, please share what you do to look after yourself. Also take a little time to consider whether you are looking after yourself enough, and if not, what will you do to give yourself more love?

Friday, 8 August 2014

The seasons shift and shift again † Pastel trends

I'll start with a confession: I like to buy my clothing and accessories as cheaply as possible. Mostly that means thrift shopping (I went yesterday and got the best floor length Stevie Nicks style dress :D) but occasionally I go to discount/bargain/variety stores like Target, Daiso, Kmart, Top Dollar or Diva. I like some of the design they have, and I know a few tricks to make lower quality things last for longer.

Any way, I'm signed up to a few newsletters for the cheaper jewellery places, and a few days ago, this popped up in my email:


Pastels. And it suddenly occurred to me that, hey, I'd seen a lot of pastels recently. I went out yesterday to take a squiz at my local shopping centre.

Pastels.

I can see that shops are very clearly phasing out the dark clothing and bringing in pastels. There are still some spikes and studs around, but dark colours have had their time, as far as I can see.

What does this mean? Well aside from the obvious that I am VERY VERY sad and must rely on thrift and party shops more, fashion is changing, again. This is great news for fairy kei, cult party kei, pastel goth, fairy lolita, glitter poppare, aomoji-kei, hime gyaru and the whole host of other styles that love pastels and sweet colours.

For us darker types... It means we must stock up for the impending drought.

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Monthly homework assignment † The dog days of summer



It's pretty bloody cold where I am right now - although the days are actually quiet mild, I work in an uninsulated shed with a tiny space heater. All it's good work is undone when the door is opened by some unwitting outdoor worker who has been gardening all day in the sunshine.

I also leave for work while the stars are still out, some I'm pretty much frozen from dawn to dusk. This all makes it difficult to think of summery things, yet both CorpGoth and The Curious Professor Z have set their monthly homework/reports on hot summer days.

Argh.

I was tempted to say 'screw it, I'm a non-conformist alternative type and I don't need to write about summer' but I decided I'd play along anyway. So.

I've already done a big round up of tips to keeping cool and in one piece over summer here. It's very detailed and I don't think I have anything to add.

But then The Everyday Goth gave me an idea. So here goes: cold drinks for goths in summer!

Alcoholic drinks
Type 'gothic drinks' into Google and you're inundated with pages of alcoholic beverages. Dark Side of the Net has an incredible list of Goth and Horror Cocktails for Halloween that I really want to try out, particularly the Wicked Witch Apple Punch.

The Terrorizer also has a nice selection of cocktail, or, in fact, Cocktails to Die For. I like the sound of Moonlight and Moonrise (I'm a sucker for a fruit cocktail).

Aussies have a penchant for a cold beer in summer, although they are often light and not very gothy. Sparkling mead is best served chilled, so this could be a more suitable gothy drink for hot summer.

Non-alcoholic drinks
Tea is quite popular with many goths, so varieties of ice tea are definitely recommended for goths battling summer heat. Blackberry or blueberry tea is dark in colour, doesn't need milk and tastes great cold.
Coffee, of course can be taken black like a gothic soul, so iced black coffee is certainly on the cards, if that's your thing.
For something a little different, I would recommend a few Asian drinks too: taro milk tea is sweet and a wonderful purple colour, whilst black sesame is... well, black and tastes a bit like sweet peanut butter.

This was just a quick public announcement post in between my work. Although I finish early in the afternoon, when I get home I'm too tired to do anything other than shower, pull on my bat onesie and go to sleep forever.

Still, I'm thinking of doing some posts about winter, for all you Southern Hemisphere kittens out there, and as future reference for those of you who will be in winter a few months down the track. What say you all?

Cheers?

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Mid monthly status report † Summer in the office


I think I'll take this opportunity to explain a little about my job. 

As some of you may or may not know, I recently graduated with a degree in environmental law. My job is working as a research officer for the Grounds department of a nursing home.

Okay, environmental law --> nursing home ... what?

Well, this nursing home is owned by a church, which also happens to own 32 ha of conservation land right next door. A lot of my work involves publicising the bush, doing patrols and getting school groups in to plant trees and look at the flowers, etc.

It's pretty fun and means that although I spend a majority of the time in a small, freezing shed, I also get to roam about, looking for tasty 'bush tucker' and taking pictures of our resident Satin Bowerbird (incredible bird, btw).

I am not looking forward to summer in that shed.

Winter is freezing, summer will be boiling hell. Working in the bush, I have to wear long sleeve everything.  I also have to wear a fluorescent yellow shirt so that no-one accidentally runs me over with the ATV while I'm out there, so that knocks my goth cred right down to zero. If it was fluorescent orange, at least I'd be able to work some sort of 'halloween goth' vibe into it...

So really, all year round, summer or winter, the only 'goth' ish things I can wear are:
  • black jeans
  • very small earrings (because I don't want them getting ripped out while I'm charging along a creek bed after a small bird that refuses to let me take its picture)
  • my black wood Buddhist prayer bracelet, from the Summer Palace in Beijing
And that's it.

Now if I was working in an actual, proper office, not a tin shed, my outfit would be this:
  • Being a bajillion degrees outside, I would wear a short-ish black business skirt (I have a nice one with a ruffly bow on the butt) and a short/ no-sleeve collared shirt.
  • Being Antarctic in the office, I would also bring with me a black or red cardigan to wrap around my chilled body, as well as thigh high black socks to keep my frostbitten legs warm. Both of these things could be easily removed for the heatwave that awaits outside.
  • Only silver jewellery (I'm allergic to nickel and nickel + skin + heat = massive, painful rash)
So that's how things are. I'm sure I will so be working in a proper office once again (not because I dislike the place I work at, I love it) but I'm being offered a number of opportunities that offer more avenues than my current job does. So maybe, soon, I will have more things to add to this list.

Anyone else doing the Mid-Monthly Status Report? Especially if you're a Southie, like me :)

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Alternative subcultures and the glamorisation of sadness

Another post??? Yeah, so as a quick update, I've got three jobs, which essentially means I'm working full time. It's tiring, but I'm enjoying it so far. Yes, I know I missed World Goth Day, Friday the 13th + full moon AND Red and Black Week, but I'll try to post whenever I can. If I have time, I'll even write several posts and queue them for future publication.


During one of my ever decreasing free moments, I stumbled across this post: Soft Grunge, Mental Illness is Not a Style.

I would highly recommend you read through it, but in case you don't, here's the basics: the author explains her concerns about the popularity of 'soft grunge' and its glamourisation of sadness, depression, etc.

Here she defines soft grunge as essentially a way of finding beauty in tragedy, but not necessarily in a good way. Soft grunge has also been used interchangeably with pastel goth and nu goth, although it is more of an ideology than a style. Hard to tell though, as they all seem to blur into one on the internet.

Emo is another one of those subcultures that really okayed the mopey, depressed  mindset. The more scars on your arms the better.

The author makes an interesting argument - "Soft grunge is okay, but the consequences might not be". It's okay to seek comfort and assurance, but it is important to understand the impact of your actions.

And so here begins my two cents.

I have had mental illness, and you know what, I reckon almost everyone has. research throws around statistics like 1 in 3 adult Australians will experience depression yada yada but I don't believe it for a second. People keep their mouth shut about this kind of thing. People are very good at hiding things.

I wasn't the best at hiding it, but as my friends weren't entirely certain, they'd sort of half-seriously, half-jokingly comment about how 'depressed' I'd seem, and then I'd join in the 'joke' and they'd all feel better. And that was what I wanted.

I know people who have seen depression as this glamorous thing. Scars on your wrist are so cool, you guys.

Okay, maybe that's a bit nasty. Let me rephrase.

The intense desire to be a part of something, to make sense of the world, to be able to deal with pain, can sometimes encourage people to believe that being depressed is a mature and necessary thing. You're struggling with pain and able to hang on. You're an amazing human being.

I'll admit I've been guilty of this kind of thought before, especially when I need affirmation. I'd make a martyr of myself which was completely unnecessary, despite my depression. I held onto this stubborn belief that I would be a much more awesome person if I could struggle on by myself, bothering no-one, writing poetry (legit), crying into my pillow.

There is no doubt I was depressed, but I definitely could have dealt with it better. Rather than glamourise my depression and essentially hang on to it, I should have realised that it didn't make me any better, any more mysterious and amazing, just because I was stuck in this cycle of misery that could be alleviated, just a little, by changing my view.

You might say: yeah, but you were depressed. It's not that easy. And you're right. Partially because of this glamourised view of depression which is becoming increasingly projected.

Now I can look at pictures of Wylona Hayashi, Felice Fawn and all the rest of those depression-chic types and appreciate the beauty of the picture, but not desire those feelings of struggle and martyrdom anymore. If they want to do that, that's fine. I'm over it.

I expect that there will be some controversy over my comments. Go forth. Let's hear your views.

On a final note, please take these words. They are accompanied by cute owls.


Sunday, 15 June 2014

Encyclopaedia of Alternative Fashion † Decora

What is this, a POST????? I'm still alive, it's just really hard to juggle three jobs plus have a life.

The full Encyclopaedia of Alternative Fashion can be found here.

Country of Origin
Japan


Source.

Gender balance
Lots of females but a fair representation of males too

Source.

What
Decora is all about bright colours and fun! This Japanese street fashion encourages loading up on accessories to produce a playful appearance.


Source.

Hair tends to be natural, but covered in cute hair clips, headbands and other ornaments. Decora wear many layers of clothes in bright colours, including socks and stockings, scarves and face masks. Badges or toys may be pinned to clothing. Lots of candy jewellery is also popular. Basically, the more stuff, the better!

More recently, decora has inspired other subcultures to form Deco-loli (x Lolita) and Kotoesa (x Visual Kei styles).

Style icons
Singer and actress Tomoe Shinohara is sometimes credited with starting decora. When young, she was well known for wearing bright colours and lots of accessories.


Source.

More recently, Haruka Kurebayashi, owner of the brand 90844, is a big icon in the decora scene. She has a series of videos with online fashion magazine Tokyo Fashion which lay out some tutorials for decora style. 




Mahouprince dresses in both feminine and boystyle decora, along with other styles. They tend to have a kind of fairy-kei and pastel vibe at the same time.


Source.
Further reading and resources
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