Tuesday 28 February 2012

Winter outfits

I'm not a big fan of taking pictures of myself, but I like to record my outfit ideas. Therefore I usually just lay the outfit out and take a picture.

Here are a couple of outfits I wore when the temperature dropped below zero this winter.

This first outfit was designed to juggle a difficult task; a visit to the hospital to see my nana (who is still hoping I'll grow out of this 'phase'), which involved getting 3 buses in the snow, and then clubbing. This was my solution:

My white skirt with key and lock pattern, with a black lace skirt underneath, a black poloneck jumper, my black velvet jacket and a black and white striped bowtie. Also my new hat from Bella D'luna who I met at November Nocturne. It's simply lovely and very comfortable, because the comb holds it very securely. Visit her etsy shop here.

Beneath the black poloneck jumper I wore a black strap top with lace overlay (for slight additional warmth in the day and perfect for dancing in).

Also this skirt combination would not be warm enough with this secret weapon:

my grey cable-knit skirt, which makes any outfit winter-proof =]

Ovbiously I also wore my winter coat and my doc martins (with lace edged boot covers). I even made some matching bows from some ribbon and safety pins.

I also swapped the feathered hat for my beret whilst in the snow =P

Lock and key skirt: H&M £7
Black lace skirt: New Look. Present from my mum
Grey knit skirt: Primark £10
Black poloneck jumper: Warehouse. Present from my mum
Black velvet Jacket: Vintage. Present from my mum
Boot covers: Accessorize (+ added lace trim). Present from my auntie.
Bow tie: Came with a cardigan I've had for years.
Hat: Bella D'luna
Black lace top: Oasis. Present from my mum

As you can see my mum has awesome taste in clothes =]

This second outfit is one I wore to the pub on a chilly evening with an old college friend.

I've had this jumper for a few years, but I rarely wear it because of the fact it's kind of chilly at the back! I decided to try wearing it with my corset dress and a long sleeved black top underneath. I added the magic grey skirt, a black lace petticoat, black pearl-style necklace and my key necklace. Obviously this was also teamed with my docs, the lace edged boot covers and my winter coat.

Black and grey striped jumper: Religion via TK Maxx £10
Black corset fronted dress (I wore it backwards): H&M £7.99
Black Lace skirt: same as above
Grey knit skirt: same as above
Boot covers: same as above
Black pearl necklace: Next. 16th birthday present.
Key necklace: This is a collection of antique keys, I have found over the last 6 years. Mostly from wardrobes adandoned on the pavement (yay studentville)

Sunday 26 February 2012

My student bedroom

In my 3rd year at uni I lived with some wonderful friends in what was for students a fairly nice house. There was however one problem. My landlady was Cruella Deville! She even looked a bit like her (but with way less dress sense). She hated me because I did this to my room, and made it look 'unsightly' without actually breaking any house rules. She was worried no one would want to rent the house after us!

So here is a tour of my student bedroom, redecorated using only white-tack and nails (which of course I polyfillered and repainted when I left).

My door. La Coulisse is french for 'the wings' as in backstage at a theatre in French. I like the idea of my room being behind the scenes and I love the theatre.

On the left wall as you entered my room I hung a mirror and my jewellery diplay boards, as well as other pretty things like my black fairy wings.

In the corner facing the door was my desk. It was always a mess so I didn't take any pictures of it. Above the desk there was a noticeboard, posters, my clock and photos. The picture leaning on the desk is a picture my friend norma drew of me. I couldn't put it on the wall because the frame is really heavy so that would have involved some serious fixings and a power drill.

Here is a picture showing the entire wall.

The wooden bookcase served as a dressing table and a place to display things:

Another reason my landlady disliked me was because I 'made the room look small' by adding 4 bookcases. These 2 stacked on top of each other and a further two small ones in the window bay. I own over 400 books and had to put them somewhere! Unlike most students I didn't move home to parents in the holiday. My student house was my only home.

The curtains I put up around the window were made an old friend's mum. A lovely lady called Barbara, who was like a second mum to me. She died in 2005 and I still miss her so I like to have these to remind me of her.

On the window sill, I kept my signed Siouxsie Sioux poster (also too heavy to hang) and above on the lintel was my collection of glass bottles.

The window bay had a boxed in electrical meter and I used this as a bedside table. The trunk here is full of all my important papers, like the electricity bills!

Above the bed I had more photographs, posters, a lino print by my friend miriam and a silk painting I did in year 9 when we were studying gaudi in art.

Finally a picture of my wardrobe doors. I brought these canvases with Parisian scenes in a charity shop.

Saturday 25 February 2012

Labyrinth outfit

Here is the full outfit with mask:

Please excuse the state of the living room!

This outfit consists of my black petticoat and a black lace strapless dress I got from a clothes swap.
Over that I'm wearing a cream lace top I've had since I was 11 (with added black lace trim) and the remains of a lace skirt I got from the charity shop and hacked (It had a satin lining which I removed, then I cut about 8 inches off the top to get the length. I gathered it at the back. I then decided I wanted it to be shorter at the front, so just pinned it up). I hid all of this with a black scarf tied around the waist and left trailing at the back. I also tucked the piece I had cut off the skirt into the back for added volume.

It was a wonderful party and I had lots of fun. The mask managed to stay intact and only left a small amount of black paint on my face!

Thursday 23 February 2012

Labyrinth Mask

Tomorrow my friend is having a Masquerade party for her 21st birthday.

When I got my invite. I immediately decided that this was the perfect excuse to finish the blank paper mache mask I made last year. I also knew it had to be based on those worn by the guests at the ball in Labyrinth.

I've made a Brian Froud style goblin mask once before, but gave it to a friend for her birthday (and I have no pictures of it =[).

This time I get to keep it =]

I used:
- today's free newspaper (dad wasn't too happy because he hadn't read it yet...)
- PVA glue (diluted with water)
- glue gun and glue sticks
- a black sharpie
- scissors
- clear plastic sheet (recycled from a box of cards)
- pipe cleaners
- acrylic paint
- black ribbon

I took the blank full face mask I already made; which I modelled on a plastic mask from the pound shop, and drew the outline shape and eyeholes. I changed my mind a few times but I'm happy with the final slightly assymetric effect. I also drew the lines on for where I wanted the raised details.

Then I cut it out (with a little difficulty, a craft knife might have worked better).

I draw the ear shape onto the clear plastic (plus a tab for attachment) and cut it out. I then drew around this for the second one to make them match.

I glued the ears onto the mask and then used the hot glue to create the raised lines. I used the clear plastic for the ears because the heat from the glue deforms the plastic slightly and so it's good for moulding the ear shape.

Then I added another couple of layers of paper mache (I just tore up the newspaper and dipped it in watered down PVA glue before applying).

The horns are just pipe cleaners bent into shape and glued on. I covered them with paper mache- which was really tricky because winding damp newspaper is difficult, especially as the strips had to be very narrow to keep the shape right.

I painted the whole mask black, then added some cream paint to the raised areas. I then very carefully dabbed the tiniest amount of gold paint onto the whole surface. If this mask looks a little like a kid's finger painting- that's because the best way I found to add the gold subtly was to use the tiniest amount and my finger to apply it! I'm sure there is a better way but I'm no artist.

Finally I added the black ribbon to both sides so I could tie it on.

Here the mask is surrounded by supplies:

And a close up of the finished thing:

Sorry for the poor quality photo's but I'll hopefully be taking photos of the full outfit tomorrow.

Monday 20 February 2012

Midlands Goth Festival

Saturday was the first ever Midlands Goth festival, an event I had been eagerly awaiting since I first heard about it in January. Imagine how excited I was to find out that not only had the old academy (now Birmingham Ballroom) re-opened, a place in which I had spent half of my teenage years and attended many gigs, but that also they were holding a festival there which included Inkubus Sukkubus on the line-up!

Now the first problem I had was finding anyone to go with; I have many alternative friends but none of them are goth per-say and therefore were far less excited about it than me! In the end I went with my friend Olivia and her boyfriend, who are 'ex-goths', having done the whole spooky thing in high school before branching out into other alternative fields. They still have a soft spot for the music and found perfectly delightful gothy outfits from their wardrobes =]

Please excuse the sweaty hair- this was taken after I'd been dancing!

There was a market during the day, which unfortunately I did not attend because my friend didn't finish work until 7. I did however speak to Lisa, from Psiclone (who had a stall) later and she had said the market was quiet for most of the day (Personally I think opening at 10am was a bit over-ambitious) but then picked up , with a roaring trade in the last hour. The rain probably put people off for most of the day.

The evening was for the bands. I missed the beginning, arriving about halfway through Mechanical Cabaret's set. I wish I'd seen it all because they were really fantastic. They were followed by Salvation (who even had a 7 year old roadie!) and Inkubus Sukkubus who were both wonderful. A favourite moment of mine being when Inkubus Sukkubus covered 'paint it black' because it was always my favourite Rolling Stones song! The bands were followed by Vince Ripper and the Rodent Show; a delightfully spooky show with 3D visuals, dancing skeletons and rock and roll! Definately fun, especailly when I realised how ridiculous I must have looked with the 3D glasses and my top hat.

This was followed by a dark-hearts disco, with a range of dj's but by that point I had sloped off home exhausted. I really should have stayed home friday night so i could have stayed until 3am!

The crowd were mostly older, which made me happy because I love seeing eldergoths dressed up to the nines; having had years longer than me to perfect their style =] They were prefectly welcoming towards us 'young-uns' and even complimentary about our attire. In fact the lack of young blood was considered a shame by some and blamed on a lack of new goth bands coming up through the ranks because 'there are plenty of people out there who look like they shouls be here, god knows what they are listening to'. Maybe I should take up my trusty bass again...

I would like to thank the organisers for such a wonderful night and I hope it goes ahead again next year, bigger and better than before!

Friday 17 February 2012

First attempt at making a complete item of clothing in 5 years

Yesterday I decided to make a skirt.
It was a pretty spur of the moment decision. I brought some black cotton fabric, lace trim and pink velvet ribbon and a pink zip.

When I got home I made a pattern from newspaper.

The waistband is my waist size plus 3 inches for seam allowance.
The skirt is made out of 4 panels which are half my waist measurement in width (plus seam allowance).

I gathered the 4 pieces so that they were each one quarter of the waistband in length, then sewed the side seams, attached the waistband, then put in the zip and hemmed it.

Finally the fun part; I added the trim and ribbon =]

I'm so proud of myself because I've not made a whole piece of clothing since I left school, and I'm happy that the homemade pattern didn't cause any disasters too!

I'm wearing the skirt here with a top I got for Christmas from a friend a couple years back; I don't wear it enough because its hand wash only (also it never felt quite right- so I added a bit of lace trim to the neck today; which is of course my usual response to clothing dilemmas)and some pink and black tights I've had in my drawer for years.
I wore my top hat because today is the first time in ages its been warm enough to leave the house without my beret!
The belt is actually a magnifying glass necklace; I just had to wear it because it has pink crystals on the chain =]

Wednesday 15 February 2012

We're all mad here...

This is on old project I never got round to posting:

I found this clock in a charity shop and decided to repaint it.

Originally it was blue and cream but I wanted it to look fit for a Mad Hatter's tea party!

It doesn't keep time very well but that's OK because I can't sleep with a ticking clock anyway so it's never had batteries in it. It seems somehow fitting anyway; in Wonderland it was always tea time!

Handy ribbon storage

This project is just a little something I threw together a couple of weeks ago because I was sick of never been able to find anything in my many bags and boxes of craft supplies. I love ribbon and lace- I add them to practically ever thing I own.

This is a simple way of keeping my ribbon and lace trim neatly rolled and being able to see at a glance what colours I already have and how much there is of it.

I used:

A large piece of black foamboard
Some black plastic coathangers
The cardboard tubes from inside rolls of kitchen foil
A glue gun
A craft knife
A cutting board

First I measured all the tubes- one was a little longer so I cut it down to size.

Then I cut the straight part off the bottom of 4 plastic coathangers- I used a junior hacksaw but I could have probably managed with the stanley kife- I was just being impatient!

Then I cut out a piece of foamboard that was the same width as these straight bars and long enough to space the rolls out a bit (measurements 32 x 48cm). I also cut 4 side panels which were 8cm wide.

I attached the top, bottom and one side panel to the main piece with hot glue- burnig my fingers and making a right mess in the process. Then I stuck the plastic rods on the side panel- evenly spacing them out.

Then I slid the tubes onto the rods before gluing the other end onto the side panel and attaching the side panel to the rest of the holder.

It was now ready for adding ribbon! Each reel of thread is secured at one end with sellotape and then wrapped around- I just pinned the other end to stop it unravelling again.

I'll probably finish the front edges with black electrical tape to hide my untidy edges at some point.

This will be hung on the side of my new wardrobe (when I get round to constructing it!)